Expert cautions public to be vigilant vs. HFMD

Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 08 2022 06:00 PM

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MANILA — An infectious diseases expert on Thursday reminded the public to be wary of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) amid rising cases in Metro Manila and other regions.

In a public briefing, Dr. Rontgene Solante said the disease commonly affects children and commonly characterized by symptoms of fever as well as skin rashes or lesions but could eventually lead to complications such as encephalitis or meningitis.

"Itong mga virus na ito tumitira doon sa bituka ng infected person so ibig sabihin, naidudumi nila ito. So paano nakuha ng mga bata kapag humahawak sila ng mga bagay na contaminated doon sa mga dumi ng infected individual tapos hindi sila naghuhugas ng kamay, pwede nilang makain, mainom, o pwedeng malunok itong virus na ito,” Solante said.

“Pangalawa iyong mga respiratory secretions ng mga infected pwede nilang mahawakan yan at hahawakan nila ang bibig at mata nila, pwedeng papasok ang virus doon. At yung pangatlo, hahawakan mo ang skin lesions, kung ano itong mga rashes na nakikita sa bibig, talampakan at mismo sa katawan at mahawakan mo yan pwedeng macontaminate yung katawan mo,” he added.

Proper hand hygiene is important to prevent the spread of the disease, Solante said, as he noted that a vaccine or medicine against HFMD has yet to be made available.

“So ibig sabihin ang pinaka-importanteng preventive method natin dito ay maghugas ang kamay tuturuan talaga natin ang mga bata paano maghugas ng kamay. For those less than 5 years old ang mga nanay responsible na bago sila kakain, bago nila hahawakan ang mga mata nila, bago sila maglaro sa labas importante mahugasan ang mga kamay nila," he also said.

The Department of Health (DOH) earlier said that while HFMD cases were rising in parts of the country, it saw no reason yet to declare an outbreak of the disease.

"We are seeing an increase in cases, 'pag tinignan natin for these past weeks, of HFMD. Pero wala tayong enough basis for LGUs to declare outbreaks in their areas," Vergeire said in a media briefing.