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HFMD: All you need to know about this viral disease


This is how Dr. Noreen Cala-Mayubay, Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist from Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center, described the Hand, Mouth, and Foot Disease (HMFD) which is a disease caused by a virus strain that causes lesions and blisters specifically on the mouth, hands, feet, knees, elbows, and even on rectum of the infected.

This disease is currently spreading around the country, wherein 115 cases of HMFD were recorded in Ilocos Norte. Of this number, 53 in Batac City, 18 in Laoag City, nine in Piddig, and some cases in Badoc and San Nicolas, are tallied in the province.

According to Mayubay, HMFD is obtained through fecal to oral; saliva or sneeze droplets from the infected person that we talked to or kissed; and lesions’ water that have direct contact with any objects.

“Ang mga nagkakaroon nitong sakit ay hindi lamang sa pedia (bata), lahat pwedeng magkaroon nito…kasi may mga pasyente ako na previously pati ‘yong tatay at nanay meron sa kanila kasi nakakahawa siya.” Dr. Mayubay said.

She likewise discussed the signs or symptoms of HMFD which include fever, rashes, loss of appetite, vomiting, and lesions on the specific parts of the body.

Moreover, this contagious disease can infect you twice or more and can lead to death. However, as of now there is still no HMFD death case in the province.

“Akala nong mga mommies ay bulutong-tubig (chicken pox), medyo kahawig niya. Although, yung difference niya (HMFD) ay yung bulutong-tubig buong katawan and minsan hindi sabay o pare-pareho yung lesions, but this one sa kamay lang talaga, sa knees, sa paa, and sa mouth,” said Mayubay as she explained the difference of HMFD and chicken pox.

She also added that individuals that are infected should be given supportive management such as medicines and source of hydration, also patients are not allowed to socialize and advised to be isolated.

According to her, there’s no prohibited food for patients infected with HMFD, but she recommended to give them cold food such as ice cream as it temporarily relieves the pain specifically on mouth.

To prevent further spread of this disease, the pediatric infectious disease specialist said that proper handwashing must be practiced everytime and everywhere. 

Not only does it remove dirt, viruses, and bacteria, it also prevents people from picking up infections and spreading them to others. 

In any pandemic or viral disease, the best way to protect ourselves is through proper handwashing. (JCR/MJTAB/AMD-Intern PIA Ilocos Norte)

HFMD. Dr. Noreen Cala-Mayubay, Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist from Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center discusses the causes, signs and symptoms, and treatment for Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease during the PIA Ilocandia Forum on December 19. (MJTAB/PIA)

About the Author

Ma. Joreina Therese Blanco


Region 1

Ma. Joreina Therese A. Blanco is an Information Officer II of the Philippine Information Agency Ilocos Norte Information Center based in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte. She is currently the Information Center Manager of PIA Ilocos Norte.

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