Friday, July 20, 2012

DOH chief confirms first case of EV-71 infection in PHL


The Department of Health on Friday said a one-year-and-seven-month-old boy from Mindanao was confirmed to have been the first to be infected by the deadly Enterovirus 71 strain that has killed several children in Cambodia.

Department of Health Secretary Enrique Ona, however, said the symptoms exhibited by the boy were mild and the patient has since recovered at home.

Citing Ona, National Epidemiology Center head Eric Tayag tweeted that Enterovirus 71 (EV-71) "was found in a one-year-old boy from Davao City. The boy has recovered at home after showing mild symptoms."

In a separate statement on its Facebook account, the Health Department said the boy developed fever and rashes on his hands, the soles of his feet, mouth and buttocks. This happened last July 6, the department noted.

He had no history of travel outside the country, it added.

"A consultation was sought at a local health facility. He was sent home and has since recovered very well. No other cases were reported in their household nor in the community," it said.

Ona said tests were done on eight suspected Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) patients reported to the DOH from July 10 to 14.

The Research Institute of Tropical Medicine tested throat, stool or vesicular fluid collected from these cases.


Among the suspected HFMD cases, the patients’ ages ranged from one to 29, with one of them a female.

Six came from Region IV-A (Calabarzon) and two were reported from Davao.

"These patients had mild disease and presented with fever followed by appearance of skin lesions in the hand, feet and mouth. Five were admitted to the hospital while the rest were sent home. Four of those who were admitted already went home after a brief stay in the wards," the DOH said.

Of the eight suspected HFMD cases, six tested positive after screening, It added.

After the tests were confirmed, only one was positive of Enterovirus 71.

"These will be further tested for Coxsackie A16, which is also associated with HFMD," the DOH said.


The DOH said physicians representing hospitals in Metro Manila and medical societies met Friday at the National Epidemiology Center for an orientation on the guidelines in the surveillance and clinical case management of HFMD.

"Prevention relies on individual personal hygiene and hand washing; shared toys or teaching tools in daycare should be cleaned, washed and disinfected as they easily become contaminated," Ona said.

Tayag said handwashing, proper disposal of diapers, personal hygiene, washing and disinfecting shared toys or teaching tools should help prevent the spread of EV71.

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