By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

DOH officer-in-charge Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire (PNA photo)

MANILA – There is no outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) in Metro Manila, the Department of Health (DOH) said Tuesday.

In a press briefing, DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said there had been an increase in HFMD cases in the region but these had been recorded for a span of months.

“Wala po tayong dine-deklarang outbreak para sa hand, foot, and mouth disease. Hindi po siya nangyari nang isahan lang, nangyari po siya over the span of two to three months dito sa National Capital Region (We did not declare an outbreak for hand, foot, and mouth disease. It did not happen overnight, it happened for a span of two to three months here in NCR),” she said.

There are 155 cases of HFMD logged in Metro Manila from October to Dec. 6 this year, the majority of whom are children aged 11 and below.

Vergeire, meanwhile, said all cases of the disease are regularly reported to the agency.

“We are seeing an increase in cases for this past week pero wala pa tayong trigger (but we haven’t seen a trigger yet) or enough basis for our local governments to declare outbreaks in their area. These are all manageable and preventable,” she said.

HFMD, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), affects mostly children but can also occur in adolescents and adults.

The disease in most cases is mild and self-limiting, with common symptoms including fever, painful sores in the mouth, and a rash with blisters on hands, feet and buttocks.

However, more severe symptoms such as meningitis, encephalitis, and polio-like paralysis could also occur, according to the WHO. (PNA)