SUBJECT: Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (Coxsackie Virus)
Date issued: December 10, 2014
To: Parents, Staff at Erin District High School
From: Control of Infectious Diseases Team, Public Health
There have been two suspect cases of hand, foot, and mouth disease reported at Erin District High School.
What is hand, foot, and mouth disease?
Hand, foot, and mouth disease is a common disease in young children. It is caused by a virus (Coxsackie virus). This virus is not related to the virus that causes hoof-and-mouth disease in animals. The disease often breaks out within a community in the summer and fall.
What are the signs and symptoms of the disease?
Hand, foot, and mouth disease is usually very mild and symptoms go away with no problems. A person may have the following symptoms: Fever Headache Sore throat Lack of appetite or energy Small, painful blisters in the mouth A skin rash of red spots, often topped by small blisters, may appear on the palms, and soles; between fingers and toes; and occasionally on the buttocks
How does hand, foot, and mouth disease spread?
Hand, foot, and mouth disease is spread by breathing in droplets that are sprayed into the air when an infected person sneezes, coughs, or talks. It can be spread by direct contact with discharge from an infected person’s nose and throat, or through feces (stool).
How long is a person contagious?
A person with hand, foot, and mouth disease is contagious (able to make others sick) during the first week of the illness. The virus can stay in the stool and spread to others for several months after the blisters and sores have healed. Most cases go away in 7 to 10 days.
What can I do?
There is no vaccine to prevent the disease, and because the disease is caused by a virus, antibiotic drugs don’t work in treating it. You can: Watch for signs and symptoms of hand, foot, and mouth disease. If you develop symptoms, call your doctor. Drink cool drinks, popsicles, and ice cream. Avoid spicy or acidic foods and drinks such as salsa or orange juice. These foods can make mouth sores more painful.
How to stop the spread of germs: Good hand washing is the best way to stop the spread of disease. Clean your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol handrub. This is most important before you prepare and eat food, and after you cough, sneeze, wipe a nose, use the washroom, or change a diaper. Be aware that the virus can live for a long time in feces. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Do not share food, drinks, toothbrushes, musical instruments with mouthpieces, or eating utensils. Sports teams should not share water bottles or mouth guards.
When can I return to school?
Students with hand, foot, and mouth disease may return to school if they feel well enough to take participate in classes and school activities.
For more information, refer to contact or website: Call: Control of Infectious Diseases Reporting Line
Contact: 519-822-2715 or 1-800-265-7293 est. 4752 / www.wdgpublichealth.ca