Philippine health authorities are on alert for similar cases of Enterovirus (EV-71) infection, now among notifiable diseases starting at the sentinel hospitals.
Dr. Eric Tayag, Dept. of Health assistant secretary and spokesperson, said he had to to confirm report of four cases of EV-71 associated with hand, foot and mouth disease at the San Lazaro Hospital and RITM (Research Institute for Tropical Medicine).
Tayag disclosed this following the instruction of Health Secretary Enrique Ona to the DOH National Epidemiology Center to include EV-71 infection as notifiable disease.
The instruction compels health providers, especialy physicians, to report individual cases or even outbreaks.
Latest World Health Organization and Cambodian Ministry of Health report said the deadly disease which plagued Cambodia recently was caused by a severe form of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease, an infectious disease among infants and children.
Tayag said cases of EV-71 do occur in the country but in the form of mild HFMD and there were no deaths reported.
Mild HFMD is characterized as self-limiting illness characterized by fever and accompanied by skin lesions or rashes.
Accordingly, EV-71 causes different diseases of varying intensity.
These include the often mild HFMD, acute respiratory disease, acute flaccid paralysis (polio-like) and the deadly brainstem ecephalitis.
Tayag did not discount possibility of having serious HFMD in the country or in the future with common knowledge of virus mutillation.
Tayag said that since 2006 HFMD outbreak was already reported in Asia in China, Vietnam, Singapore, adding ” we are the countries not affected”.