By Felipe V. Celino
ROXAS CITY, Capiz – The Provincial Health Office (PHO) here logged 60 cases of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) in the province of Capiz.
Because of this, the PHO through the Capiz Epidemiological Surveillance and Response Unit (CESRU) together with the Department of Health (DOH) and Local Government Units (LGUs) will investigate and trace other cases to prevent the disease from spreading.
HFMD is a viral infection that usually affects children 10 years old below.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control, HFMD is common among infants and children younger than 5 years old. Most children have mild symptoms for 7 to 10 days.
Symptoms include fever, mouth sores, and skin rash commonly found on the hands, mouth, and/or feet.
Webmd.com said HFMD is not the same thing as foot-and-mouth disease, which comes from a different virus and affects only animals.
The viruses that usually cause HFMD are coxsackievirus a16 and enterovirus 71. These viruses lurk in the fluids in an infected person’s body such as saliva, mucus from their nose or lungs, fluid from blisters or scabs, and poop.
HFMD spreads through coughing or sneezing; close contact like kissing, hugging, sharing cups, or sharing utensils; contact with poop, like when changing a diaper, and touching surfaces with the virus on them.
There’s no cure or vaccine for HFMD and since it is caused by a virus, antibiotics will not help.
Webmd.com and the CDC recommended the following treatment for patients with HFMD:
-Take over-the-counter medications to relieve fever and pain caused by mouth sores. Never give aspirin to children.
-Drink enough liquids. Mouth sores can make it painful to swallow, so your child may not want to drink much. Make sure they drink enough to stay hydrated. Cold treats such as ice pops, yogurt, or smoothies can help soothe sore throat. Avoid juice and soda, which have acids that might irritate sores.
-Anti-itch lotion, like calamine, for rashes
Parents may see a healthcare provider if:
-Your child is not drinking enough to stay hydrated
-Symptoms do not improve after 10 days
-Your child has a weakened immune system
-Symptoms are severe
-Your child is very young, especially younger than 6 months
The PHO appealed to the public to immediately report to their nearest Barangay Health Workers suspected HFMD to contain it.
The PHO also appealed with the public to always observe proper hygiene and basic sanitation to prevent diseases.