‘Symptoms, prevention’: What you need to know about Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

December 9, 2022 - 4:42 PM
Photo shows members of UNICEF visiting a local unit in Dinagat Islands and Surigao del Norte to address hand, foot and mouth disease cases among children in the province after typhoon Odette hit the country in 2018 (UNICEF Philippines/Facebook)

An infectious disease expert said there is a reported spike in the cases of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) in some parts of the country. 

Since October, 155 HFMD cases were recorded in Metro Manila, Dr. Rontgene Solante said at the Laging Handa public briefing

The “outbreak” was first recorded in San Pascual, Batangas last October, where over 100 children were infected, according to the Solante. 

“This means HFMD is now widespread that we might have to declare an outbreak soon, especially if it is already affecting many regions,” Solante said in mixed Filipino and English.

According to the World Health Organization, this disease is common among children.

The high number of HFMD cases prompted The Medical City to release an information sheet about the disease. 

The hospital said that HFMD is a viral infection that commonly spreads by touching infected surfaces. 

The virus can also spread to others through infected persons’

  • Fluid from blisters or scabs
  • Droplets produced by coughing or sneezing

Some of the symptoms of HMFD are the following:

  • Wounds on the tongue, around the lips, mouth, and gums
  • Rashes in hands, feet, and sometimes in the butt
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of appetite
  • Agitation (for babies)

The hospital noted that within seven to ten days, the symptoms typically disappear.

To prevent contracting the disease, the public was advised to:

  • Regularly wash their hands
  • Avoid interaction with sick people
  • Disinfect the house and things that are commonly used by children

The hospital also set some guidelines for when a patient should visit a doctor. These include the following:

  • Symptoms are getting worse
  • Signs of dehydration such as drying of lips, frequent urination, and sunken eyes
  • Difficulty in drinking water due to sore throat
  • The infected person is six months old or younger

Department of Health officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire on Tuesday, December 6 said that there is no outbreak of HFMD in Metro Manila yet. However, she confirmed that cases have been increasing in the past months.

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