Charlestown-Nevis-Medical Officer of Health in Nevis, Dr. Judy Nisbett, has confirmed that there are a number of cases of the Hand, Foot and Mouth disease (HFMD), on the island.
She indicated in a recent press release, that there are forty confirmed cases but has asked residents on the island not to panic.
“There is no need for panic or alarm. There is no need to go to the emergency room,” she said.
She indicated that the affected persons, mainly infants and children, may have mild fever, sores inside and around the mouth, and other rashes on the palms, soles, buttocks, knees and elbows. Paracetamol is recommended for fever and pain relief. Do not give Aspirin to children having a fever.
Calamine lotion may be applied to the rashes if itchy.
All affected persons will be better in 7 – 10 days.
She further gave some safety tips to deal with the disease
A person affected by HFMD should stay away from work, school, day care and nursery until all rashes and sores have disappeared – usually 7 – 10 days
- Cover cough and sneeze with tissue paper or shirt sleeve. Dispose tissue into a waste bin immediately, then wash hands thoroughly
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water often throughout the day, particularly after using the toilet, coughing, sneezing, changing or handling diapers or potties, and before preparing or eating food
- Avoid sharing cups, utensils, towels, washcloths, bedding and clothing with persons who are infected
- Frequently disinfect any surfaces, including doorknobs or objects, including toys that could be contaminated. Do this using soap and water followed by diluted bleach solution
- Wash, using hot water, any bedding, towels, wash cloths, clothes that may have become contaminated.
In recent weeks, cases have been confirmed at some of the Primary schools on the island and affected children have been asked to remain at home until the illness is over.
Much concern is also being raised for the children at the many Daycares and preschools across the island and it is understood that the Ministry of Health is involved in educational sessions and meetings, in order to avert a major outbreak.