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DOH reports 2,350 HFMD cases in Western Visayas.

With 2,350 instances from January 1 to February 4 compared to 132 cases during the same time period last year, the Department of Health Western Visayas Center for Health Development (DOH WV CHD) has issued a warning about an increase in cases of hand, foot, and mouth disease.

In light of the fact that HFMD is a virus that spreads quickly, Airene B. Legarda, a medical technologist II and coordinator of the DOH Regional Food and Water Borne Disease Program, stated on Thursday that they are concentrating on the hygiene and sanitation element.

“We spoke with the local and provincial health departments, but none have identified an outbreak. The prevention, identification, isolation, treatment, and reintegration strategy for HFMD, however, was the subject of an executive order issued by our local government units, she stated in an interview.

Direct contact with an infected person, contaminated objects, contaminated feces, and respiratory droplets are all possible ways for HFMD to spread.

Resuming face-to-face interactions may have contributed to the increase in the number of instances, according to Legarda.

She added that the increase in instances has been seen in the third and fourth quarters of 2022 in “most of the provinces and cities in Western Visayas.”

The province with the most instances, according to data from the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Center, is Iloilo, with 1,132 cases, followed by Antique with 240 and Negros Occidental with 331.

132 cases came from Aklan, 156 from Capiz, 162 from Guimaras, 154 from Iloilo City, and 32 from Bacolod City.

According to the data, children between the ages of one and five were part of the vulnerable group.

Legarda continued, “The illness is typically moderate, but in certain rare cases, when left unmanaged or untreated, can evolve into severe HFMD affecting the central nervous system.”

She stated that the rise in instances is concerning and that there is a need to concentrate on informing the public that HFMD is curable by following health guidelines including face mask use, hand washing, and disinfection.

She continued by saying that recovering patients are still in danger of re-infection.

Irene Dulduco, information officer for the Antique Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO), reported on Thursday that HFMD cases had already been identified in 14 of the province’s 18 towns.

Antique had 29 HFMD cases from January 1 to February 4 of last year as opposed to 240 illnesses during the same time this year.

In order to stop the spread of the viral illness, we are encouraging parents to isolate their kids if they exhibit any symptoms, according to Dulduco.

She advised parents to notify their barangay health workers for surveillance in their regions as soon as they notice blisters on their children’s hands, feet, or mouths, or any other signs and symptoms of the illness.

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