The Provincial Health Office (PHO) recently recorded 250 cases of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) but clarified that it is not considered an outbreak.

PHO chief Dra. Faye Erika Labrador said Thursday that the 250 cases of HFMD were the latest as of last week in the province, including Puerto Princesa City.

She further stressed that what is occurring in the city and province is not an outbreak, which is described as a sharp spike in the number of cases.

“Outbreak po is a sudden violent occurrence. This is a cumulative data of occurrence at two to three weeks. This is not an outbreak,” Labrador said.

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She noted that the peak of cases were recorded two weeks ago, stating that data sets for each town are still under consolidation.

Labrador further explained that HFMD is an airborne and contagious viral infection that is usually observed during the summer months. Symptoms include fever, a sore throat, and rashes. It is a common infectious disease, mostly in children, but can also occur in adults.

“HFMD is observed during summer time, most of the time. We have continuous educational campaign that runs during the time na na-o-observe namin ang increasing cases, [also] proper referral and handling din,” she said.

She said the majority of cases are mild with symptoms that usually last for seven to 10 days, and emphasized that infected patients are also advised to undergo self-isolation to prevent spread.

“HFMD is a contagious viral infection, airborne din sya kaya we advise them na kapag mayroon silang ganito HFMD ay mag-isolate na kaagad para hindi makahawa. Although this is mild we should not neglect pa rin,” Labrador said.

“This is a mild form of disease with flu-like symptoms, fever and rashes but this is actually a spontaneous kind and viral disease, in seven to 10 days ay nagdi-disappear na rin sya,” she added.

Labrador advised the public to practice proper hygiene, hand washing, social distancing, wearing face masks and taking vitamins to boost the immune system.

Even before the confirmation of the HFMD, patients are advised to undergo self-isolation in their respective homes.

“Katulad ng flu or trangkaso, ganoon lang na you stay at home,” she said.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.