Bulacan health execs report increased HFMD cases
CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan — The number of cases of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD) soared in this province early this year, health officials said Wednesday.
Based on the data from the Provincial Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (PESU), at least 224 patients manifesting symptoms of HFMD were reported from January 1 to February 4.
Dra. Hjordis Marushka Celis, Bulacan provincial health officer II and head of the Bulacan Medical Center, said the figure was 914 percent higher than the 21 HFMD cases logged in the province in 2022.
Most of the infected patients were 10 years old or younger, which represented 97 percent of all the cases so far this year.
The town of Sta. Maria had the highest number of HFMD cases with 36, followed by Bustos with 30 incidents and San Rafael with 24 cases.
Celis told the Inquirer that the viral disease occurs during the cold and changing weather from December into the early months of the year.
She said children became prone to the disease because they were back in school and could now leave their homes, unlike during the outbreak of COVID-19 cases in the last two years when they were restricted to their houses.
Celis explained that HFMD is a mild and self-limiting disease but very contagious, especially among children.
One can get infected due to exposure to someone who already has the disease and through infected surroundings and materials.
The most common symptoms are fever, mouth sores, and loss of appetite, Celis said. INQ