Physicians Alerted about Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

Collective Prevention Services (CPS) that falls under the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, on Tuesday alerted local family physicians to look out for symptoms of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) after several cases were diagnosed in Anguilla.

Ministry of Public Health officials have been in contact with their Anguilla colleagues with respect to gathering information about HFDM.

HFMD is a common viral illness that usually affects infants and children who are 10-years of age or younger. It can sometimes occur in adults. There is no vaccine to protect against the viruses that cause hand, foot, and mouth disease.

Symptoms of HFMD include cold-like conditions, fever, mouth sores, loss of appetite, cough, and a skin rash; a non-itchy red rah that develops on the hand and the feet, and sometimes the rash can develop into painful blisters; painful mouth ulcers.

Hand, foot, and mouth disease is spread from person to person through nose and throat secretions (such as saliva, sputum, or nasal mucus), blister fluid, or stool of infected persons.

If your child or you have any of these symptoms, according to the Minister of Public Health Hon. Cornelius de Weever’s ‘Get Checked’ campaign, visit your family physician.

To lower your risk of being infected with hand, foot and mouth disease, wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after changing diapers and using the toilet; disinfecting dirty surfaces and soiled items, including toys. First wash the items with soap and water, and then disinfect them with a solution of chlorine bleach; and avoiding close contact such as kissing, hugging, or sharing eating utensils or cups with infected persons.

Hand, foot and mouth disease is not the same as foot and mouth disease, which affects cattle, sheep and pigs. The two infections are unrelated, and you cannot catch hand, foot and mouth disease from animals.

For further information you can call 542-2078 or 542-3003.