TACLOBAN CITY– The City Health Office(CHO) cautioned citizens to practice minimum health standards at all times and refrain from sending children to school if the manifestation of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) symptoms had been noticed to contain further spread.

This after the Department of Health – Eastern Visayas issued an advisory noting a significant uptick of cases in the region.

HFMD is a viral disease that easily infects school children aged 5-12 years old, according to Dr. Danilo Ecarma, acting local health officer.

“It can be transmitted through direct contact with the infected individual, contaminated surfaces and respiratory droplets,” he said, adding that fever, sore throat, loss of appetite, blisters-like lesions on the tongue, gums, and inside of the cheeks, and blisters commonly found on the hands, feet, or buttocks are among the symptoms of this infectious disease.
However, the official noted that HFMD is a self-limiting disease and requires symptomatic treatment only.

The infection lasts for one to two weeks.
On the monitoring of HFMD data in the city, Dr. Ecarma said they will coordinate with the Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit to track accordingly the confirmed cases.

From the past two weeks, the reports they are receiving came from schools but are tagged as suspected only since these cases are “not yet properly diagnosed.”

“The school nurse from Scandinavian Elementary School notified us they recorded up to 46 possible cases of HFMD,” Dr. Ecarma disclosed.

For the safety of the pupils, classrooms, and surroundings were disinfected by the personnel of the CHO and modular lessons for some of its learners had been implemented following the detection of suspected infections.

The health official reiterated the practice of cleanliness, frequent hand-washing and isolation of the infected person are efficient to prevent the spread of the said disease in the community.

From January to March 4, 2023, a total of 331 cases of HFMD were recorded in the region, which is higher compared to last year’s 261 cases for the same period, per DOH.