The following is a health advisory from the Ministry of Health in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) concerning Hand Foot Mouth Disease.
The Ministry of Health and Gender Affairs, Nevis has been informed of a few reported cases of Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease (HFMD). There is no need for panic or alarm. There is no need to go to the Emergency Room.
HFMD is a common and benign disease caused by a virus that is spread by fecal-contaminated hands, coughing, sneezing, saliva and fluid from blisters or scabs and contaminated objects and surfaces. The last outbreak was in 2017.
In healthy children (and adults), HFMD is highly unlikely to cause serious illness or death. Blisters may appear on the roof of the mouth, on the palm of hands, and on the soles of the feet. They can show up on the buttocks, legs, and arms. Mouth sores may develop, often on the tongue and on the sides of the mouth, which can form blisters and become painful. These signs and symptoms usually disappear in about 7 to 10 days.
Affected children should remain away from school for at least 7 to 10 days after the onset of the symptoms.
Spread is restricted by good handwashing with soap and water and by covering the nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing.
Affected Early Childhood Centers and schools do not need to close down. Rather strict attention should be given to disinfecting surfaces and objects and effective handwashing after handling pampers or other undergarments.
The Ministry of Health and Gender Affairs is available to respond to questions and provide assistance where necessary through its Public Health Departments.
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