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24 Iloilo towns have HFMD cases on file.

From January 1 to February 22 of this year, the Iloilo Provincial Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (PESU) identified 224 possible cases of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) in 24 towns.

Only two occurrences of the sickness were reported in the province during the same time period the previous year, according to PESU data.

In a media interview on Tuesday, Provincial Health Office (PHO) head Dr. Ma. Socorro Quion stated that “our children are the most commonly affected,” with 202 of the cases falling into the one to 10 years age group, 13 cases falling under one year of age, six cases falling into the 11 to 20 year age group, two cases falling into the 31 to 40 year age group, and one case falling into the 41 to 50 year age group.

The municipality of Pavia has the most cases with 29; however, this number is expected to rise as more cases are discovered. Other municipalities with cases include Barotac Viejo (23), San Dionisio (21), Bingawan (20), Calinog (16), Barotac Nuevo (15), Lemery (13), Leon (12), Pototan (10), Santa Barbara (9), Banate (9), and Lambunao (9).

According to Quinon, HFMD is spreadable, particularly when there is contact with lesions, so it is important to use separate utensils, toys, and other personal belongings.

The disease can be avoided by following the bare minimum of health precautions, such as routine handwashing or hand hygiene, avoiding direct contact with infected people, wearing a face mask, and properly disposing of the waste they produce.

It is advised that infected people avoid face-to-face activities like attending school until the visible lesions have healed and there is no fever.

Unless the infected person becomes dehydrated, the HFMD is often mild, necessitating admission only in extreme cases. After 10 days, if the symptoms still persist, you should see a doctor.

Quinon cautioned, however, that pregnant women should be aware of the possibility of abortion, miscarriage, or stillbirth, particularly if the term is approaching.

To prevent the consequences of hand, foot, and mouth illness, “that is why there is a need for prenatal and surveillance for the infant,” she stated.

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