2 kids with enterovirus recover-A A +A
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
MANILA (2nd Update, 3:15 p.m.) -- The two children who were earlier found positive for enterovirus have recovered and were discharged from the hospital, the Department of Health (DOH) said.
The health department recently intensified security among travelers following the deaths of 56 children in Cambodia due to Enterovirus 71 (EV-71), a more virulent strain of enterovirus that causes diarrhea, rashes, and hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD), and is sometimes associated with severe central neurological diseases.
“They are recuperating well. We have reports that they have been discharged,” DOH spokesman Dr. Eric Tayag said in a press conference Wednesday.
The DOH earlier said that seven cases were referred to the government, with two being found positive for enterovirus.
The government said, however, that the Research Institute for Topical Medicine (RITM) has yet to confirm whether the enterovirus that contracted the children was the EV-71 type.
In a television interview, Tayag said he is expecting the lab results from the Muntinlupa City-based RITM by late Wednesday or Thursday.
He said, however, that the likelihood of it being similar to the EV-71 cases in Cambodia is slim.
“Because they have recovered, unlikely na Enterovirus 71 ‘yun,” he said.
“Kaya lang, because nag-test na sila, hindi namin pwede i-dismiss na EV-71 kasi alam naman namin na EV-71 is associated with HFMD na mild, eh. Hindi naman lahat ng EV-71 ay deadly, eh (But we cannot dismiss the case yet while RITM is still conducting tests and because EV-71 is associated with HFMD, though, not all cases are deadly),” he added.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte also said chances are slim that the cases are associated with EV-71, as these are both local and the kids have no history of travel.
Tayag said the DOH reported these cases as they “wanted hospitals to report any suspected cases of HFMD and this is, of course, to also alert the public that the HFMD doesn't have to come from other countries because we have them except that we don't have fatal form of the disease."
Malacañang, meanwhile, assured Wednesday that all concerned government agencies have been alerted for possible similar cases.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said airport authorities are closely screening arriving passengers especially those from international flights.
“We are monitoring any possible entrance of enterovirus through people coming from abroad. We’re making sure that that is being addressed,” he said.
He said that so far, there is no reported incident of enterovirus strain coming from Cambodia.
Tayag said the DOH will continue monitoring similar cases in the country. He said they will include HFMD cases in their routine surveillance reports like dengue, leptospirosis, and influenza, among others.
But he said, “We will stop releasing new numbers. We want to stop the confusion that there is an HFMD outbreak. What we want is for hospitals to just actively report to us these cases and send samples to confirm at the RITM.” (HDT/Jill Beltran/Sunnex)