The Department of Health (DOH) remains firm on its stance against declaring a hand, foot, and mouth disease (HMFD) outbreak in the country since only 29% of reported cases were active.

Pag tiningnan natin sa kabuuan at tinotal natin lahat ng nangyayari for these past four weeks, only 29% are active cases, the rest have recovered,” said Health Officer-in-charge (OIC) Maria Rosario Vergeire during a media forum.

The health department said that the rise of HFMD cases in certain areas are manageable. 

“It will only be triggered or declared if surveillance data will say it has surpassed that epidemic level and also if the cases are already unmanageable by the local government,” Vergeire said.

The DOH OIC added that an epidemic will only be declared due to following reasons: if surveillance data showed it exceeded the five-year trend transmission is seen in regions, and if it already involved national security.

A total of 541 HMFD cases were reported in the past four weeks in Albay; 188 cases in Bataan; and 48 in the Cagayan Valley, Vergeire said. 

The National Capital Region (NCR) recorded 155 cases from October to December, which are mostly children 11 years old and below.

Amid viral posts online about a possible outbreak, the DOH earlier said that it would not declare an outbreak. 


Ronald Espartinez