Public's participation urged to prevent EV-71 from spreading-A A +A
Saturday, July 21, 2012
MALACAÑANG urged the public Saturday to be vigilant to prevent Enterovirus 71 (EV-71) from spreading.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda assured that the Department of Health (DOH) is prepared to handle EV-71 cases in the country after the health department reported one local case of the disease.
"Number one, DOH is itself prepared. Number two, we need the participation of the citizenry. If you feel that there are symptoms that would lead to Enterovirus 71, immediately bring it to the attention of the doctors," he said.
"We need the engagement of the citizenry. In the part of the DOH, they will be coming out or they have come out with information on the symptoms of Enterovirus 71," Lacierda added.
The Palace official also encouraged the public to observe proper hygiene and maintain cleanliness in their communities. The DOH is also spearheading a massive public information campaign about EV-71 to raise awareness, he said.
The DOH reported last week that a 19-month-old toddler from Davao has been infected with EV-71, the same virus that has killed more than 60 children in Cambodia. The boy, however, has since recovered.
The boy was the only confirmed case among eight suspected cases in the country with the hand, foot and mouth disease or EV-71 strain, Health Secretary Enrique Ona said.
The strain detected in the boy was a mild form of EV-71 and could have been in the country long before its deadlier variant killed Cambodian children, he has said.
Enteroviruses consist of 68 sterotypes that usually cause self-limited infections in children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention based in Atlanta, Georgia.
EV-71 was first detected in California in 1969. Since then, EV-71 has been isolated in many parts of the world. Severe outbreaks associated with a high fatality rate occurred in Bulgaria in 1975 with 44 deaths and Hungary in 1978 with 45 deaths, the CDC said.
Severe outbreaks occurred in Malaysia in 1997 with 30 deaths and in Taiwan with 78 deaths in 1998, 25 deaths in 2000, and 26 deaths in 2001. (SDR/Sunnex)