A Cochrane school recently reported that two students had confirmed cases of hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD).

To help prevent the spread of the virus, we reached out to Alberta Health Services (AHS) who shares while HFMD is quite common in children it can also occur amongst adults.

"Symptoms are usually mild and include a rash of small sores or blisters that usually appear on the hands and feet and in the mouth. The infection usually goes away on its own in about 7 to 10 days. "

While generally the virus spreads through an infected person coughing and sneezing, a child can also catch hand-foot-and-mouth through something that's been in contact with the virus, like a toy, tabletop, or doorknob. 

AHS says you can take steps to help prevent it by practicing good hand hygiene. As HFMD is not a reportable disease AHS does not track the number of cases, but does share that cases of HFMD in schools are not uncommon.

The school's caretaking staff will be working diligently to clean and disinfect all surfaces in classrooms, school bathrooms, and water fountains as well as encourage all the students to practice good hand-washing techniques. 

While the disease can show up at any time of the year it is more common in the summer and fall. People generally experience symptoms within three to six days after exposure to the virus. Most people have mild or no symptoms, which may include: 

  • Small, red blister-like sores in or on the mouth, hands, feet and sometimes the buttocks and legs 
  • Mild fever, sore throat, headache and fatigue 
  • Poor appetite or feeling sick. 

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease usually lasts no longer than a week and can be treated at home.

For more information on hand-foot-and-mouth disease, go HERE, or call Health Link at 811.  

 

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