ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/5 Aug) – The Department of Health (DOH) has placed under close watch three suspected carriers of Enterovirus-71 (EV-71) in three areas in the region.
EV-71, which is noted for its role in epidemics of severe neurological diseases in children, has caused the death of 55 children earlier this year in Cambodia.
There are already two mild cases of EV-71 reported in the Philippines – one in Luzon and one in Mindanao.
Dr. Norvie Jalani, DOH regional epidemiologist, said the three suspected carriers are from Zamboanga City and from the provinces of Zamboanga Sibugay and Zamboanga del Norte.
Jalani said that one of the suspected carriers is a 12-year-old boy from this city and yet another is a year-and-a-half baby boy from Zamboanga Sibugay. He said they have no details yet on the suspected carrier from Zamboanga del Norte.
The specimens of the patients have already been taken to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Muntinlupa City for confirmation whether or not they are positive for EV-71, Jalani said.
Earlier, the DOH has issued an advisory which includes the description of Hand, Foot, and Mouth, Disease (HFMD) which is a common infectious disease caused by a group of Enteroviruses including Coxsackievirus A 16 (CA 16), and EV-71 that can cause severe diseases in children, sometimes resulting to death.
Meanwhile, Jalani reminded the public to disinfect contaminated toys of children since EV-71 can be transmitted through contaminated toys and teaching materials.
She said they are ready to deal with cases of EV-71 if in case there will be confirmed cases here in the region.
Jalani said they are constantly monitoring all hospitals in the region to ensure that health facilities have a strong and functioning infectious unit, including protection for the patients as well as the health care providers. (MindaNews)