Enterovirus-71 infection, now a notifiable disease - DOH
OROQUIETA CITY, Misamis Occidental, July 11 (PIA) -- The Department of Health, National Epidemiology Center (DOH-NEC) has included the Enterovirus-71 (EV-71) infection as a notifiable disease in the country, upon instruction of Health Secretary Enrique T. Ona.
Inclusion of the EV-71 in the list of notifiable diseases compels all health providers, especially physicians, to report individual cases or even outbreaks, Dr. David Mendoza, Head of the Regional Epidemiology Surveillance and Disaster Response Unit of DOH-Center for Health Development, Region 10, said.
Mandatory notification will improve monitoring of EV-71 infections and ensure that necessary measures are in place to guarantee that the Philippines is free from the highly fatal, severe form of EV-71 infections that claimed the lives of at least 60 children in Cambodia since April this year.
Also, the DOH and the World Health Organization clarified that the Cambodian EV-71 was of the encephalitis type and not hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) as earlier reported, Mendoza said.
Affected Cambodian children generally presented with fever followed by rapid respiratory deterioration and impaired consciousness, of which death occurred 24 hours from hospital confinement.
EV-71 causes different diseases of varying intensity, which include acute respiratory disease, polio-like acute flaccid paralysis and the deadly brainstem encephalitis and the often mild HFMD, characterized as a self-limiting illness presenting with fever and accompanied by skin lesions or rashes.
Moreover, said EV-71 infections do occur in the country but are reported with irregularity. Fatal EV-71 infection is still very rare in the Philippines.
Proper disposal of baby diapers or human waste, strict personal hygiene and regular hand washing prevent viral spread, since the virus is known to be excreted in the feces as it is found in human intestines.
Thus, DOH urges parents and day-care personnel to clean and disinfect toys and teaching tools that are easily shared with other children, to prevent infections, as there are no known effective drugs or vaccines for EV-71.
On the other hand, there still is no travel restrictions to and from Cambodia, but incoming passengers will be subjected to thermal screenings upon arrival in all international airports as a routine quarantine procedure, Mendoza added. (DOH-10/PIA-Mis. Or.)
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