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Iya Villania Cautions Against Contagious Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease as Sons Get Infected
PHOTO BY screenshots from @iyavillania/Instagram Stories
To read this story in Tagalog, click here.
  • Yesterday, July 7, 2019, TV host and mom of two Iya Villania Arellano thanked her friends and social media followers for prayers for her son Primo Arellano. The little boy, who’s turning 3 in August, caught hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD), a minor but highly-contagious viral illness.

    “Thanks for all the prayers, guys,” Iya wrote on her Instagram Stories yesterday. “[I] Checked his sores today — I was expecting the worst — so [I] was happy to come home from work and see him still happy even with the bigger blisters since yesterday,” she added.

    Even with visible blisters on his mouth, Primo looks to still be in high spirits!
    PHOTO BY screenshots from @iyavillania/Instagram Stories

    While Iya continues to observe and care for Primo, she shared with her followers her improvised “lab gown” outfit to help ensure that Primo’s younger brother Leon Arellano, who’s turning one in August, does not catch the disease: a hoodie jacket and a face mask.


    Unfortunately, Leon now has HFMD, too. “I guess it’s just kind of inevitable with Primo’s age where he’s small and can’t quite be careful around the house and not spread the germs, so. This little boy now has it, too,” Iya just shared today, July 8, 2019, on her Instagram Stories.

    Leon’s HFMD is only starting to show symptoms, particularly rashes on his underarms and knees. The video shows Leon being irritable, unlike his usual happy/laughing self. “You’ll be okay, Love,” Iya assured her younger son.

    Leon is starting to develop rashes on his armpits and knees, according to mom Iya.
    PHOTO BY screenshots from @iyavillania/Instagram Stories
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    Iya also addressed the question she's been getting the most since she shared that Primo had HFMD, and that is, where Primo may have gotten the disease.

    “I honestly think it was from when I let him play in an enclosed play area when he was already a little sick. Well, he was recovering from cough and cold,” the mom of two shared her theory. “I guess dahil bagsak yung immune system niya, mabilis niyang nakuha yung hand, foot, and mouth disease,” she added.

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    "I honestly think it was from when I let him play in an enclosed play area when he was already a little sick—well, recovering from cough and cold," said Iya on how she thought Primo contacted HFMD.
    PHOTO BY screenshots from @iyavillania/Instagram Stories

    The Department of Health (DOH) reported that the majority of the HFMD cases in the country are from kids aged 0 to 5. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also confirms Iya’s hunch. HMFD infections are common in childcare centers, preschools, and other places where kids are in closed quarters.

    “Please make sure your kids are well and healthy when they play in enclosed play areas. Not just for the sake of the other kids in there but also for your own,” Iya wrote on her Instagram Stories.

    The mom of two's improvised lab gown to try and help prevent HMFD from spreading in her household.
    PHOTO BY screenshot from @iyavillania/Instagram Stories
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    In a video conversation that the new Mars Pa More co-host shared, she asked Primo, “Are you sick? Are you wawa?” “No,” replied her firstborn son. “What are you,” the mom of two followed-up. “Better. No more cough na,” said the little boy who’s still in good spirits despite the visible blisters on his mouth.

    Primo even asked for lumpia for lunch, which is a sign that he has an appetite and is recovering. It’s essential for kids infected with HFMD to stick to their meal schedules, even when eating, drinking, and swallowing may be difficult because of the mouth blisters.

    HFMD causes fever, painful blisters in the mouth (singaw in Filipino), and rashes (flat or raised spots) on the hands, feet, and diaper area. It can also cause peeling of the skin on the hands and feet, sore throat that may cause cough, irritability, and loss of appetite. Symptoms are worse in the first few days but are usually gone in a week.

    It’s “usually a mild viral illness,” but HMFD is also “highly contagious,” pediatrician and infectious disease specialist Dr. Carmina Delos Reyes told Smartparenting.com.ph. It is spread from person to person by direct contact with the virus, found in an infected person’s saliva, nasal mucus (sipon), fluid from blisters, and stool.

    In rare cases, HFMD can become severe and involve complications that affect the brain, like viral meningitis and encephalitis. (Read more information about HFMD in English or in Filipino/Tagalog.)

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