Westmoreland on alert for hand-foot-and-mouth disease Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Westmoreland residents are being implored to be on the lookout for signs of hand-foot-and-mouth disease, particularly among small children. 

Health Promotion and Education Officer for Westmoreland, Gerald Miller, in making the call, said persons must be vigilant in guarding against the illness, particularly as the parish deals with drought conditions.

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is a mild, contagious viral infection common in young children. 

“We wanted to remind our stakeholders, in particular principals, education officers [and so on], that between March and June is the time when we normally see cases of hand-foot-and-mouth disease. The Ministry of Health and Wellness guidelines have shown that this is the time we normally see cases,” Miller told JIS News. 

“We are reminding our stakeholders to be vigilant and to pay attention to hygiene. This primarily affects children, especially children who are in day-care settings, and so we really want persons to be on the lookout for it and to be familiar with the signs and symptoms,” he stressed. 

Symptoms of hand-foot-and-mouth disease include fever; sore throat; painful, blister-like lesions on the tongue, gums and inside of the cheeks; fussiness in infants and toddlers, and loss of appetite. 

Symptoms also often include rashes on the palms, soles of the feet and sometimes the buttocks. Depending on skin tone, the rash may appear red, white, gray, or only show as tiny bumps. The usual period from initial infection to the time symptoms appear (incubation period) is three to six days.

Miller informed that while there are currently no cases of hand-foot-and -mouth disease in the parish, it is imperative that persons take all the necessary precautions to prevent the onset of the illness.