Manila: The Philippines has confirmed its first case of the deadly Enterovirus 71 (EV 71), a feared strain of a disease that normally afflicts farm animals.
A one year and seven month old boy from Davao City tested positive for the EV-71, Department of Health (DOH) said.
“The boy developed fever and rashes on his hands, soles of feet, mouth and buttocks last July 6. The boy had no history of travel outside the country. A consultation was sought at a local health facility. He was sent home and has since recovered very well,” the department noted adding that there were no other cases were reported in their household nor in the community.
“The public is urged to remain vigilant,” Health Secretary Enrique Ona nevertheless warned Filipinos, as he mentioned that that experts have confirmed that the deadly strain of EV-71 was determined in one of several suspected hoof, foot and mouth diseas (HFMD) cases earlier under observation by the DOH.
Earlier, the DOH had announced that they guarding against entry into the country of the EV-71 cases following information from the World Health Organisation (WHO) that several patients in Cambodia had been afflicted with the disease.
Screening and confirmatory tests were done at the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine on throat, stool or vesicular fluid collected from suspected cases.
The cases in Cambodia had killed at least 50 children while dozens of others are being monitored in that country.
On Friday, Ona, announced that the based on the results done on eight suspected HFMD patients reported to the DOH from July 10-14, one was confirmed for be a case of EV-71.
“There was one female among the suspected HFMD cases. Age ranged from one year to 29 years. Six came from the Southern Tagalog Region and two were reported from Davao.
“These patients had mild disease and presented with fever followed by appearance of skin lesions in the hand, feet and mouth. Five were admitted in the hospital while the rest were sent home. Four of those who were admitted already went home after a brief stay in the wards,” the DOH said.
The department added that of the eight HFMD cases, six tested positive for the screening test. “After the confirmatory test, all but one were negative for Enterovirus-71. These will be further tested for Coxsackie A16, which is also associated with HFMD,” the DOH said.