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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Hand Foot & Mouth Disease - increasing incidence in Phillipines - Promed

Published Date: 2015-09-22 17:17:37
Subject: PRO/EDR> Hand, foot & mouth disease - Philippines (04): increasing incidence 
Archive Number: 20150922.3663696
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: 21 Sep 2015
Source: Sun Star Manila [edited]

Cases of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) in the Philippines rose more than 3-fold in the 1st 8 months of 2015 compared to the same period last year [2014].

According to the Department of Health (DOH), a total of 1561 HFMD cases were reported from 1 Jan to 5 Sep 2015, up 336 percent from 358 cases in 2014.

Most of the cases were from Region 4-A, with 23.6 percent; Region 6 with 21.1 percent; Metro Manila with 13.9 percent; Region 2 with 10.4 percent; and Region 10 with 7 percent.

HFMD is a common infectious disease of infants and children. The illness is characterized by fever, painful sores in the mouth, and a rash with blisters on hands, feet and also buttocks. It usually begins with a fever, poor appetite, malaise, and frequently with a sore throat.

There is no specific way to prevent HFMD infection, but the DOH said practicing good hygiene can help in decreasing risk of transmission.

Communicated by:

[The location of the 15 Senatorial Divisions of the Philippines can be seen at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senatorial_districts_of_the_Philippines.

Hand, foot, and mouth disease is caused by viruses that belong to the Enterovirus genus, including polioviruses, coxsackieviruses, echoviruses, and enteroviruses. Coxsackievirus A16 is the most common cause of hand, foot, and mouth disease in the United States, but other coxsackieviruses can also cause the illness. Enterovirus 71 has also been associated with cases and outbreaks of hand, foot, and mouth disease. Less often, enterovirus 71 has been associated with severe disease, such as encephalitis. It is likely that the virus responsible for the current outbreaks in the Philippines is one of the enteroviruses associated with childhood febrile illness.

Generally, a person with hand, foot, and mouth disease is most contagious during the 1st week of illness. People can sometimes be contagious for days or weeks after symptoms go away. Some people, especially adults, may not develop any symptoms, but they can still spread the virus to others. This is why susceptible individuals should always try to maintain good hygiene to reduce exposure to any of the enteroviruses associated with hand, foot and mouth disease.

Hand, foot, and mouth disease is not transmitted to or from pets or other animals. There is no specific vector. - Mod.CP
Comment: I am seeing a large number of HFM disease in my OPD practice in Mohali, Chandigarh, India as well during the humid season.
I am not sure if this represents a world wide increase in incidence of this disease, or is a coincidental finding. It is generally a self limiting disease but I have seen quite a few cases with blistering in hand and feet as well.

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