Mandeville Weekly News

SCHOOLS URGED TO LOOK OUT FOR HAND, FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE

Posted by SR (riley) on Nov 10 2016 at 2:00 AM
Mandeville Weekly News >>

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information is advising schools to be on the lookout for symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease (HMFD) among children. Initial signs of the disease include fever and general malaise (poor appetite, aches and pain, etc.).  These symptoms generally last for one to two days before a blister-like rash appears on the hands, feet and in the mouth.  The rash initially emerges as small red spots, but then develops into blisters.  The blisters may develop on the gums, inner cheeks and tongue and patients may complain of mouth pain and a sore throat.

Young patients tend to drool and avoid swallowing and may refuse to drink or eat because of the discomfort.  Very young infants may even become dehydrated due to the refusal to drink.  Any high fever in a very young infant should be evaluated by a healthcare practitioner.  For older infants and children, as long as the child has adequate oral intake this particular illness can be managed comfortably at home.

Children infected with the virus generally recover within one week of developing symptoms.Hand, foot, and mouth disease is most frequently seen in young children, infants, and toddlers.  It is characterised by fever and a blister-like rash affecting the palms of the hands and soles of the feet along with blisters inside the mouth.  Infection is caused by exposure to the oral secretions (nasal discharge, saliva, etc.) or stool of another person with the disease.There is no specific treatment for HFMD. Supportive care, including fever management and prevention of dehydration, is advised.

Immediate medical attention should be sought for prolonged, elevated temperatures in children, signs or symptoms of dehydration such as dry skin and mucous membranes, weight loss, persistent irritability, lethargy, or decreased urine output.
 Appropriate infection-control practices are recommended to prevent the spread of the disease, including limiting person-to-person contact and promoting hand-washing and other hygienic measures.

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