CHARLESTOWN, Nevis - FOLLOWING an outbreak of the Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease on St. Kitts, the Ministry of Health on Nevis has confirmed that there are a number of cases within schools on the island.
Confirmation was made this morning (Oct. 6) by Premier Mark Brantley during his monthly press conference, where he announced that 30 cases were detected over the last several days.
During that time, cases were found in three daycare centers, two pre-schools and four primary schools across the island.
The ailment provides the onset of fever, mouth sores and skin rashes.
As the name suggests, rashes are found on the hand, mouth and foot.
There were recent outbreaks on St. Kitts among children, and some were linked to the Industrial Site Pre-school.
“Now, the good news is that apparently it is not uncommon for children to develop this disease. It is also said by the necessary experts that it is usually quite minor. It might involve fever, it might involve a rash and it might involve mouth sores,” said Brantley.
It is often spread by contact from one child to another, and though there is no official treatment, some medications are used to treat several aspects of the ailment, such as symptoms.
Just recently, parents were told by medical officials at the JNF Hospital that medications were not in stock at the time.
Meanwhile, the Premier said that the Nevis Island Administration would seek to combat the outbreak of the disease on the island.
In a statement on the outbreak, the Ministry of Health on Nevis explained the nature of the blisters found on the skin of children.
“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 seven to 10 days.
“...Spread is restricted by good handwashing with soap and water and by covering the nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing,” the statement read.
The Ministry urged that the 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.