Health authorities attempt to stop spread of HFMD in South Cotabato town
KORONADAL CITY — Health officials are trying to contain the spread of the contagious Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) that has already downed 51 victims, mostly children, in 15 of 22 villages in Banga town, South Cotabato on Monday, January 30.
Joseph Franco, municipal disaster risk reduction and management officer, said the HFMD was confirmed in the villages of Rizal Poblacion, Parreo Street, Barrio 9 and Punong Grande.
“Since most of the patients were children and coming from one or two schools, we already conducted disinfection in at least two elementary schools,” Franco said in a radio interview. “All the children who have been diagnosed with the disease are now in a 10-day isolation in their respective homes,” Franco said.
He said no new cases had been reported as of Monday, January 30.
Parents said their children first complained of sore throat and fever and showed wounds around the mouth, in their hands and feet, which were signs of the disease. “We thought it was a case of chickenpox or prickly heat but the blisters were contained only around the mouth and hands and later in the feet,” said Arlene, whose child was confined in a private hospital here.
Aside from disinfecting possible sources of the “coxsackie viruses,” the viruses that caused HFMD, parents were also advised to ask for hygiene kits from their respective barangay health stations to help contain the outbreak, Franco said.
Dr. Cynthia Corneta, Banga OIC municipal health officer, appealed to parents to teach their children to wash their hands “every now and then” or provide them with alcohol to avoid getting the virus.
“Should there be symptoms like fever and skin irritation, bring your child to the nearest health station or hospital,” Corneta said.