17 local schools record cases of hand, foot and mouth

| 25/10/2023 | 4 Comments
Mouth ulcers (Source: NHS website)

(CNS): As of Wednesday, 18 October, the Public Health Department had identified hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) in 17 local schools, according to Medical Officer of Health Dr Samuel Williams-Rodriguez. There are no vaccines that prevent this virus or specific cures. Health officials are therefore urging parents to practice good hygiene to contain the spread of this very contagious but not very serious illness.

“Parents whose children have contracted HFMD can give them over-the-counter medications that do not contain aspirin, as well as mouthwash to assist with numbing blisters in the mouth, as a way to mitigate their discomfort,” Dr Williams-Rodriguez said.

Public Health will continue to closely monitor this outbreak in local schools. HFMD is a viral illness common in infants and children under ten but can occur in adults. It is characterised by an onset of fever, reduced appetite, sore throat and a feeling of being unwell, as well as blister-like eruptions on the tongue, inside the cheek, and on the palm of the hands, soles of the feet and occasionally on the buttocks.

Some people, especially adults, may show no symptoms but can pass the virus on to others. Reinfection can also occur in people who have already had the virus.

“While there is no vaccine to protect against the viruses that cause hand, foot, and mouth disease and no specific treatment for the illness, proper hygiene and prevention similar to those adopted during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic are effective in curbing the spread of the virus,” said Chief Medical Officer Dr Nick Gent.

Effective ways of minimising the spread include proper hand washing techniques, sanitisation, cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces and soiled items (including toys), and avoiding contact with people with HFMD, which most often occurs in the summer and autumn months.

School Health Coordinator Carvell Bailey-Able echoed the importance of good hygiene practices. “The virus is very contagious, so it is important to take the necessary precautions at both home and school and consistently use hygienic measures to reduce the risk of contracting and transmitting the disease,” she said.

Parents are reminded to keep infected kids at home to reduce further spread. Anyone who contracts the virus should refrain from public interaction at nurseries, schools and work while they are unwell and until the fever and symptoms have subsided for 24 hours.

For more information, call the Public Health Department at 244-2889.

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Category: Health, Medical Health

Comments (4)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Foot in mouth disease? I thought only members of parliament got that!

    • Anonymous says:

      Hahahahaha! Absolutely brilliant! And thank you for the exclamation point at the end to flag that you were telling a joke. I must remember that next time I want to be that funny!

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s called wit, some have, some don’t and some just don’t understand it. And there’s some that hate others for having it nudge nudge 😉 ;)…


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