Hand, Foot and Mouth disease

No, we’re not talking the farmyard variety here! Our communities are currently experiencing an outbreak of Hand, Foot and Mouth disease – a common childhood disease usually occuring in children 10 years and younger.

If your child is affected, they may need some time off school, preschool or childcare to recover and stop the spread, but medical intervention and medicine are not usually required. On the other hand, some children may be infected but not show any symptoms.

Listed below is a little more information in case Hand, Foot and Mouth disease affects your family in some way.

Signs and Symptoms may include a sudden onset of:
* Fever
* Sore throat
* Headache
* Small, painful blisters in the mouth and
* Red papules that turn into blisters around the lips and on the body – especially palms, fingers and soles of fee, but not limited to these areas

How is it spread?
* Through direct contact with nose and throat secretions and droplets (coughing/sneezing)
* Contact with faeces (poo) either directly or through contaminated surfaces

Time between exposure and illness:
* 3-5 days

Infectious period:
* While the child is ill
* Virus may be passed in the stool (poo) for several weeks even though the person is well or did not have symptoms

Prevention of spread to others:
* Cover all coughs and sneezes with a clean tissue, or cough/sneeze into your elbow
* Wash hands regularly with warm soapy water and dry thoroughly, especially before eating and after toileting
* Children should be at home if feeling unwell, but may return to school or preschool once feeling well and the blisters are dry.

If you’re concerned about your child’s health, contact your GP or Practice Nurse, or phone the Healthline on 0800 611 116