Human Foot and Mouth Warning
HYGIENE warnings have been issued after a number of cases of the human strain of hand, foot and mouth disease were found at local schools.
Howden Infants School was one of those affected by the viral infection and letters were sent out to parents explaining how to help prevent it spreading, and what the symptoms are.
The human form of hand, foot and mouth disease is usually characterised by tiny blisters on the inside of the mouth and the palms of the hands, fingers, and soles of the feet and is spread through person to person contact.
Symptoms are much like a common cold with a rash which lasts for seven to ten days.
It is not linked to the serious animal virus.
Acting headteacher Mrs Carol Padgett said: "We did have a few cases a few weeks ago but it seems to have died down. The biggest influx was in the nursery class, it is more difficult with small children.
"We checked the national recommendation and because it can make youngsters feel unwell we advised parents to keep the children off school."
Despite having no cases, Hook CoE Primary sent out letters last Friday urging parents to reiterate the importance of cleanliness to their children in the wake of the viral infection.
A spokesman for Humber Health Protection Unit said: "The disease is rarely serious but in a few cases the virus can cause inflammation of the brain.
"The fever and spots usually clear within a few days. The mouth ulcers can be painful and this may make a child miserable."
They explained the best way to curb the spread of the infection.
"It can help to prevent the spread by increasing ventilation of the room; reducing overcrowding; encouraging good personal hygiene and hand washing; washing communal toys in a detergent solution.
"Wash your hands with soap and running warm water after using the toilet, before handling food, and after handling a contaminated handkerchief. Wash the used handkerchief in the hot cycle of a washing machine."
Parents can help relieve the symptoms by keeping the child cool; give plenty of fluids; colds foods such as ice cream or yoghurt may be preferred; give paracetamol at the dose recommended for the child's age.
This is a self limiting illness and there are no effective treatments for this virus. Treating the symptoms will help and the illness will run its course.
For more information contact NHS Direct via the website http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk/
NHS Direct can also give information and advice over the phone on 0845 46 47.
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Thursday 23 May 2013
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