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Cases of hand, foot and mouth disease detected in some schools

The Ministry of Health has issued an alert that cases of hand, foot and mouth disease have been observed in some schools.

On Wednesday, face-to-face classes were suspended at Chandler's Pen Infant and Primary School in Clarendon after four suspected cases of hand, foot and mouth disease were reported among students from the infant department.

In a statement Thursday afternoon, the Health Ministry urged members of the public to follow infection prevention and control measures.

These include frequent handwashing with soap and water especially following toilet use and before handling food; cleaning and disinfecting toys and other high-touch surfaces; and avoiding close contact with people who have hand, foot and mouth disease.

The ministry says adults and children can contract hand, foot and mouth disease, however children up to five years and younger are more susceptible. 

Persons affected may experience symptoms, including fever, loss of appetite, sore throat and may develop painful sores in the mouth. 

Rashes may also appear on the palms of hands and soles of the feet or other areas such as the knees, elbows and buttocks.

While there is no specific treatment regimen for hand, foot and mouth disease, the ministry says fever and dehydration must be managed. 

Symptoms of dehydration include lethargy, sleepiness, dry tongue and dry lips, no tears when crying, sunken eyes, dry skin and less urine than normal.

The ministry added that elevated temperatures in young children must be evaluated by a health care practitioner.

Immediate medical attention must be sought if children experience fever for more than 24 hours or develop signs and symptoms of dehydration.

The statement said children who are sick must remain at home.