The Head of the Paediatric Department at the Sir Lester Bird Medical Centre (SLBMC) Dr. Shivon Belle Jarvis is urging residents to be vigilant of the presence of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease among children.
Parents, Guardians, and Teachers:
It’s that time of year when we expect to see an increase in cases of Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD). This is a very contagious but non-severe illness caused by a virus. Thankfully the symptoms last between 7 to 10 days.
Who is affected: anyone can be but it is primarily seen in children under 5 years old.
What are the symptoms: Fever, sores to mouth, skin rash to include; rash to palms, soles, buttocks and knees, sore throat, irritability and decreased appetite.
Red flags: Dehydration, HFM disease in a child less than 6 months, reduced levels of alertness, symptoms persisting beyond 10 days and fever beyond 3 days.
How do we fight this: Hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is key, cleaning high-touch surfaces such as door knobs and desks and keeping your child home when ill are all priceless.
Preschool teachers please use gloves when changing diapers.
Together we will get through this.
Shivon Belle Jarvis