Some cases of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease have been confirmed in educational institutions in the country and the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment said it is closely monitoring the situation.
The Ministry said Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease is a common viral illness among infants and children under the age of five years, but can also occur in adults.
The disease is caused by a group of viruses known as Entero-virus. The virus can spread from person to person through:
- close personal contact, such as hugging an infected person
- the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes, contact with feces, such as changing diapers of an infected person or touching contaminated surfaces like door knobs, then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth before washing your hands
According to the Ministry HFMD usually starts with fever, sore throat, reduced appetite and a feeling of being unwell. One or two days after the fever starts, painful sores can develop in the mouth. They usually begin as small red spots, often in the back of the mouth that blister and can become painful.
A skin rash on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet may also develop over one or two days as flat, red spots, sometimes with blisters. It may also appear on the knees, elbows, buttocks or genital area. Generally, a person with hand, foot, and mouth disease is most contagious during the first week of illness. People can sometimes be contagious for days or weeks after symptoms go away. It is important to drink enough liquids to prevent dehydration.