A TOTAL of 386 cases of hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD) were detected in Davao Region in January, based on the data of the regional Department of Health (DOH-Davao) on Tuesday, February 7.

The 386 cases were recorded between January 1 to 21 wherein most of the provinces in the region recorded over 50 HFMD cases, with the highest coming from Davao de Oro with 110 cases.

Davao del Norte followed with 94 cases, Davao City with 92 cases, and Davao Occidental with 77 cases.

On the other hand, Davao del Sur and Davao Oriental have the least number of cases with nine and four respectively.

In addition, more than half of the cases’ population is male, comprised of 217 cases or 56 percent, while 169 cases or 44 percent are female.

The data also showed that infected individuals were all minors aged nine years old and below.

“Hindi siya fatal or severe compared to other diseases but there is also one type of the virus that we should be careful with na pwede mag-affect sa brain sa bata (It is not fatal or severe but compared to other diseases, there is one type of the virus that we should be careful with because it can affect the brain),” DOH-Davao assistant regional director Dr. Gerna Manatad said in an interview with PTV Davao.

The January data made up more than half of the total HFMD cases in the Davao Region last year, which was 711 cases.

Of this, Davao City recorded the most number of cases with 208 cases, followed by Davao del Norte with 213 cases, and Davao de Oro with 176 cases while Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, and Davao Occidental had the least number of cases with 21, 45, and 48 respectively.

In 2021, only 22 cases were recorded and during both years, there were no HFMD-related deaths.

At the same time, the DOH-Davao has not yet recorded any HFMD-related deaths so far this year.

On Monday, five Grade 2 pupils from Matina Central Elementary School were confirmed to be connected with HFMD, as per the school principal Marietta Gaer.

HFMD is a viral infection that commonly affects children. It is characterized by fever, mouth sores, and skin rash.

It is transmitted through respiratory droplets, nose and throat secretions such as saliva, drool, or nasal mucus, fluid from blisters or scabs, as well as feces from an infected person. ICM