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One case of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease reported on St. Maarten


PHILIPSBURG–A case of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) has been recorded in St. Maarten via the Health Ministry’s Collective Prevention Services (CPS) disease surveillance system with family physicians.

HFMD is a common viral illness that usually affects infants and children who are 10-years of age and younger. It can sometimes occur in adults. There is no vaccine to protect against the viruses that cause hand, foot and mouth disease.

Persons with symptoms should contact their family physician and continue to take preventive measures in order to avoid getting HFMD, stated a press release on Wednesday.

Symptoms of HFMD include cold-like conditions, fever, mouth sores, loss of appetite, cough and a skin rash; a non-itchy red rash that develops on the hand and the feet, and sometimes the rash can develop into painful blisters and painful mouth ulcers.

Hand, foot and mouth disease is spread from person to person through nose and throat secretions (such as saliva, sputum or nasal mucus), blister fluid or stool of infected persons.

Health Minister Cornelius de Weever’s “Get Checked” campaign urged persons to visit their family physician if they or their child displays any of these symptoms.

“To lower your risk of being infected with hand, foot and mouth disease, wash your hands often with soap and water especially after changing diapers and using the toilet; disinfecting dirty surfaces and soiled items including toys,” stated the release. “First wash the items with soap and water, and then disinfect them with a solution of chlorine bleach; and avoid close contact such as kissing, hugging or sharing eating utensils or cups with infected persons.”

HFMD is not the same as foot and mouth disease which affects cattle, sheep and pigs. The two infections are unrelated, and you cannot catch HFMD from animals.

Additional information can be obtained by calling tel. 542-2078 or 542-3003.

Bron: The Daily Herald

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