School outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease in Northern Luzon, Philippines, October 2022

Authors

  • Emeryn C Victori Field Epidemiology Training Program - Intermediate Course, Northern Luzon, Philippines; Center for Health and Development 1, Department of Health, San Fernando City, La Union, Philippines
  • Ray Justin C Ventura Center for Health and Development 1, Department of Health, San Fernando City, La Union, Philippines
  • Mariz Zheila C Blanco Center for Health and Development 1, Department of Health, San Fernando City, La Union, Philippines
  • Rosario P Pamintuan Center for Health and Development 1, Department of Health, San Fernando City, La Union, Philippines
  • Rio L Magpantay Center for Health and Development 1, Department of Health, San Fernando City, La Union, Philippines
  • Karen B Lonogan Center for Health and Development 1, Department of Health, San Fernando City, La Union, Philippines

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.5365/wpsar.2023.14.2.1001

Keywords:

hand, foot and mouth disease, disease outbreaks, Philippines

Abstract

Objective: On 24 September 2022, the Regional Public Health Unit in Ilocos received a report of a cluster of suspected hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) in one school in Balungao, Pangasinan Province, the Philippines. On 4 October 2022, the public health unit sent a team from the Field Epidemiology Training Program – Intermediate Course to conduct an outbreak investigation.

Methods: Active case-finding was conducted at the school. A suspected case was defined as any student or staff member with mouth ulcers and papulovesicular or maculopapular rash on the palms, fingers, soles of the feet or buttocks occurring from 1 September to 5 October 2022. We interviewed school officials about possible sources of infection and students’ activities. We collected oropharyngeal swab samples for testing. Findings were used for descriptive analysis.

Results: Nine suspected cases of HFMD were detected, with the highest number of cases (6, 67%) occurring in children in grade 1. The majority of cases (7, 78%) were 6 years old, and five cases (56%) were male. Seven (78%) of the cases had been exposed to a confirmed case of HFMD, as reported by their parents or guardians and teachers. Six cases (67%) were positive for coxsackievirus A16 and two (22%) for enterovirus.

Discussion: The causative agents of this outbreak were coxsackievirus A16 and other enteroviruses. Direct contact with a confirmed case was the source of transmission, with a lack of physical distancing in classrooms likely contributing to transmission. We recommended that the local government implement measures to control the outbreak.

Downloads

Published

28-04-2023

How to Cite

1.
Victori EC, Ventura RJC, Blanco MZC, Pamintuan RP, Magpantay RL, Lonogan KB. School outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease in Northern Luzon, Philippines, October 2022. Western Pac Surveill Response J [Internet]. 2023 Apr. 28 [cited 2024 Jul. 16];14(2). Available from: https://ojs.wpro.who.int/ojs/index.php/wpsar/article/view/1001

Issue

Section

Outbreak Investigation Report

Most read articles by the same author(s)