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  • The Ministry of Health will continue to monitor schools affected by the Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease, Portfolio Minister, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, told the House of Representatives on October 6.
  • Dr. Ferguson also informed that some schools which were closed for sanitising, have re-opened.
  • The Minister said that some schools have reported just two cases and some even a single case of the illness.

The Ministry of Health will continue to monitor schools affected by the Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease, Portfolio Minister, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, told the House  of Representatives on October 6.

Dr. Ferguson also informed that some schools which were closed for sanitising, have re-opened.

“The surveillance report indicated that as of October 5, there were 438 reported cases of the disease within 144  of the 2,600 early childhood institutions,” he noted.

The Minister  said that  some schools have reported just two cases and some even a single case of the illness.

“With this in mind, it would not have been practical for us to close every school that reported cases. In fact, the acceptable standard is to close where 10 per cent or more of the school population is affected,” he added.

Dr. Ferguson also informed that the Parish health departments have been doing their investigations and follow-up actions in the affected schools.

Ministry of Health personnel will also continue to visit schools and assist with sanitisation as well as education of the school administrators on how to manage the disease in their institutions.

The Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease is a viral illness common in infants and children. Fever and blister-like eruptions on the tongue, inside the cheek and on the skin are symptoms of the disease.

Poor appetite and a sore throat are other symptoms. It can be spread through direct contact with mucus in the throat and nose, saliva, fluid from blisters and the stool of infected persons. There is no vaccine to protect against the disease.

Persons can lower their risk of being infected by: washing hands often with soap and water, especially after changing diapers and using the toilet; cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.