This advisory is provided for the information and guidance of everyone on the signs and symptoms, transmission, precautionary measures, and treatment of the hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD), the number of cases of which has increased among children nationwide in the last seven months as reported by the Department of Health (DOH).
HFMD is a viral infection caused by a group of enteroviruses, including Coxsackievirus A16 (CA16) and Enterovirus 71 (EV71).
Although HFMD affects mainly children, anyone can get it as it is commonly spread through direct contact with nose and throat discharges or body secretions, such as saliva, from infected people. Because there are several different viruses that cause the same infection, a person can get the illness more than once.
Symptoms include fever that may last 24 to 48 hours, painful mouth sores and rashes and blisters on the hands, feet and buttocks that may persist for 7-10 days. Individuals are most contagious during the first week of their illness. Incubation period is 2-14 days
According to the DOH advisory, there is no specific treatment for HFMD but medications can relieve the symptoms, such as fever, sore throat, and lesions. Drinking extra fluids should help to avoid dehydration.
Although there is no specific way to prevent being infected with HFMD, the DOH advised the public to strictly observe good hygiene, such as frequent hand washing, to lessen the risk of catching the disease. It is also advisable to disinfect premises and all infected materials such as implements, clothes, etc.
As a standard procedure, the school’s Campus Services Office has been implementing the following:
- All frequently-used facilities, fixtures, and equipment, such as lavatories, door knobs, faucets, light switch, telephone units, drinking fountains, etc., are regularly kept in good condition through cleaning and disinfection.
- Hand soaps are made available in the lavatories for the use of the students and employees. Proper hand washing procedures is still the best approach to prevent the spread thus students must be reminded of this safety habit.All ventilations of rooms (e.g. air conditioning units, electric fans, exhaust fans) are regularly inspected, cleaned and checked based on the health and safety standardsAn Isolation Room is designated in the main clinic to treat patients who manifest any threatening symptom of any communicable illness
As stated in the past health advisories, the school reiterates its appeal to parents to make sure that they bring their child to a doctor and that their child stays at home if he/she manifests any symptom of the HFMD.