• CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO
Acting Bacolod Mayor El Cid Familiaran has recommended to the Department of Education – City Schools Division to establish close coordination with the City Health Office (CHO) and the barangay to address the increasing suspected cases of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) in Bacolod City.
Familiaran was designated acting mayor by Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez from February 8 to 12, during the latter’s official travel to Japan.
The DepEd has to coordinate with the CHO and the barangay concerned, despite having their own health officer, in order for them to know what actions are to be immediately taken to address the problem, Familiaran said.
The Supervised Neighborhood Play (SNP), a daycare center of Barangay Handumanan, suspended their classes on Tuesday after the barangay recorded eight suspected HFMD cases among its pupils.
Ma. Julieta Cuyno, SNP daycare teacher, said that three pupils presented signs and symptoms of the disease last week, and on Feb. 6, an added five pupils manifested the same symptoms, bringing the total number of cases to eight.
Cuyno pointed out that although the center suspended holding face-to-face classes, they held a modular learning set-up, as they continue to monitor the condition of their pupils.
CHO records as of January 28, showed that there were 10 barangays in Bacolod with a total of 20 suspected HFMD cases, namely Brgy. Banago – 2 cases; Brgy. 13 – 1; Bata -1; Estefania – 5; Singcang – 1; Taculing – 2; Handumanan – 3; Tangub – 1; Villamonte – 3; and Vista Alegre -1.
HFMD is an infectious illness caused by the Coxsackie virus. It commonly affects children but can affect adults, and is most contagious during the first week of infection.
Signs and symptoms include sore throat, fever, painful ulcers or blisters in the hands and feet, sometimes at the thighs and buttocks.*