1 EV-71 case in PH, but not to worry – DOH

(UPDATED) A boy from Davao City tested positive for EV-71, but he has recovered and there's no need to panic, says the Department of Health

MANILA, Philippinesn (UPDATED) – A boy from Davao City is confirmed to have contracted the enterovirus 71 (EV-71), but the health department said the child has been sent home and the public need not worry.

Health Secretary Enrique Ona said the 1-year-and-7-month old boy from Davao tested positive for EV-71, but he’s recovering well. He developed fever and rashes on his hands, soles of feet, mouth and buttocks last July 6.

“I’m not surprised because all along, EV-71 has been there. It’s not new. But this case is not fatal. This is mild EV-71,” Ona told a press conference.

A similar EV-71 virus was also recorded in the Philippines 10 years ago, according to Ona.

Asked why the country’s EV-71 is different from the one discovered in Cambodia, Ona said that a virus can “modify itself.” The EV-71 caused the death of at least 52 children in Cambodia.

“That’s also what we call difference in the presentation and reaction of a poluation in a particular disease ….. That’s why it is very important to monitor the diseases around the world,” he said.

Ona asked the public “not to worry but to know that the situation can worsen.” 

The boy’s case was one of 8 investigated by the Department of Health for EV-71. Age ranged from 1 to 29 years. Six came from Region IV-A (Calabarzon) while 2 two were reported from Davao. After the tests, the 7 tested negative for EV-71.

Ona said the boy from Davao City has no history of travel to another country.

Enterovirus is common in the Philippines and has been treated routinely in the past, Ona said.

But he urged the public to remain vigilant and report symptoms to health centers and hospitals.

The DOH earlier declared enterovirus as a reportable disease, mandating all health workers, whether in public or private health facilities, to report suspected cases for prompt action. – Rappler.com

(We earlier reported that the Davao case was the first EV-71 case in the Philippines. It is not. The DOH said an EV-71 virus was also discovered in the country 10 years ago. We apologize for the error.)