Issue of November 4, 2018

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DOH records fewer cases of hand, foot and mouth disease
by PIO release

The Department of Health-Cordillera recorded 47 cases of hand, foot, and mouth (HMFD) diseases in the Cordillera.

The number of cases, recorded from Jan. 1 to Oct. 6, is 78 percent lower than the 212 cases reported by the DOH during the same period last year.

DOH data showed a victim who came from a province outside the region, died of the disease.

The report stated that the cases were from Baguio City with 14 or 29.8 percent of the total number of recorded cases followed by Benguet and Kalinga with eight cases each that account for 16 percent, Apayao – five cases or 10.6 percent, Ifugao – four cases or 8.5 percent; Abra one case or 2.1 percent, and non-Cordillera provinces – seven cases or 15 percent.

Twenty-eight of the victims are male. The age range of the affected individuals is from five months to 17 years old.

Geeny Anne Austria of the DOH-Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit said there were laboratory confirmed HFMD cases in the region but no clustering of cases was reported.

HFMD is caused by a virus. Its symptoms include ulcers or sores inside or around the mouth and a rash or blisters on the hands, feet, legs, or buttocks.

Health officials say the symptoms may not apply to every person. Others may not show symptoms at all, but can still pass on the virus to others.

While HFMD is not pleasant, it is not serious.

Anyone can get the disease, but children under age 10 are most likely to catch it.

Children can contract HFMD through contact with someone who already has the illness, or from something that has been in contact with the virus like a toy, table top, or door knob. It tends to spread easily in the summer. The rashes and mouth sores bring great discomfort to children who contract it.

Among the symptoms include fever and sore throat in younger kids and fever and decreased eating or drinking painful blisters similar to cold sores can show up on the inside of a child’s mouth (usually in the back portion of the mouth) or tongue.

Patients might get a rash on the palms of his hands or the soles of his feet a day or two after the first symptoms appear. This rash may turn into blisters. Flat spots or sores may pop up on the knees, elbows, or buttocks. He could have all of these symptoms, or only one or two.

Austria advised individuals with the symptoms to immediately seek medical attention from the nearest medical facility.

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