The number of cases of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) in Roxas town has now risen to 110, municipal health officer Dr. Leo Salvino said.

Salvino also said the cases started first back in February and suddenly increased this March and had reached 110 as of yesterday. He also said cases today have yet to be compiled and put on record.

“There are still new cases coming out; actually, I was able to check two more today, and private clinics have also started to report,” Salvino said in a telephone interview.

He said that the disease started to spread in February when a student from Brgy. Tinitian, who goes to school in Langogan, Puerto Princesa City, was the first person to be infected. He explained, however, that they are not pointing out the student as the primary source of the virus.

“We are not singling him out because the cases actually started in Manila, so maybe someone came in who we do not know is infected,” he said.

He also said that as soon as they heard that the number of people with HFMD was going up, they started an information and education campaign about the disease.

“We are continuously distributing leaflets and primers on how to treat and contain the virus,” he said.

He also said that they have told schools to stop classes for a short time so that they can clean the classrooms.

“Last Wednesday, we conducted disinfection using Zonrox and Lysol mixed with water in barangays New Barbican, Magara, San Jose, and Nicanor Zabala,” Silvano said.

“We actually conducted the disinfection last Wednesday, so after three days plus Saturday and Sunday, it will be a total of five days for the disinfection to take effect,” he added.

He also said that he has told parents to keep sick children away from other people and to clean their homes.

Stopping short of saying there is already an outbreak, Salvino said they are still waiting for the results of the swab tests of two patients who were sent to Manila for verification.

“But if you compare this to the previous years, it can be considered an outbreak already because in 2022, we only had less than 20 cases for the whole year, and in 2021, we had around 30 cases, and the cases were also sporadic and not clustered,” he stated.

“For this year, the characteristic is really an outbreak because for just a short span of time—only two weeks—there was a sudden increase in the number of cases. But one is that the cases lately are not clustered, unlike in Magara. The new cases are coming in sporadically,” he said.