TACLOBAN CITY – Borongan City in Eastern Samar has declared an outbreak of hand, foot, and mouth disease after 123 cases were logged since January.
John Kelly Cainday, Borongan City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (CESU) epidemiology officer, expressed alarm over the rapid increase in HFMD cases in the city since the last week of January.
He disclosed that some of the first cases were reported in Barangays Campesao, Balud, Bugas, Santa Fe, Canjaway, and Tabunanan.
Cainday expects more cases for this morbidity week as at least 33 barangays have been affected by HFMD.
He said that adults who are usually asymptomatic serve as a carrier of the disease while children from 10-years-old below show symptoms such as fever, loss of appetite, red rashes in palms, soles, mouth, and other extremities as well as sore throat.
The highly-contagious disease is caused by two viruses –Coxsackievirus, which is non-lethal and causes mild symptoms, and Enterovirus, which may cause meningitis and could potentially become lethal if untreated.
Cainday stressed that while they aim to avoid mortality, they also want to decrease morbidity or those that will be affected by the virus.
He cited the importance of hand washing and wearing facemasks to avoid droplets from spreading.