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More schools confirmed with hand, foot and mouth disease

Published:Tuesday | September 29, 2015 | 1:21 PM
Dr Sonia Copeland

Director for Health Promotion and Protection in the Ministry of Health, Dr Sonia Copeland, says the ministry has discovered more cases of hand, foot and mouth disease at two more schools.

Yesterday, the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA) reported cases in nine schools.

READ: Outbreak of hand foot and mouth disease in schools

SERHA said three of the schools are in Kingston and St Andrew and six in St Catherine.

Speaking on Cliff Hughes Online this morning, Dr Copeland said the ministry has since discovered cases at five Corporate Area schools.

Dr Copeland says this now puts the number of schools with hand, foot and mouth cases at 11.

She notes that the possibility exists for the disease to spread given that children tend to interact with one another at school and at home.

Dr Copeland says the health ministry is closely monitoring the situation and is conducting the necessary surveillance activities.


Director for Health Promotion and Protection in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Sonia Copeland

Meanwhile, Dr Alfred Dawes, the President of the Jamaica Medical Doctors Association (JMDA), says doctors have not seen an influx of patients turning up at hospitals.

Dr Dawes says there is no need for the public to panic at this stage.


JMDA President, Dr. Alfred Dawes

The Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease is a viral illness common in infants and children.

Fevers and blister-like eruptions on the tongue, inside the cheek and on the skin are symptoms of the disease.

Poor appetite and a sore throat are its other symptoms.

It can be spread through direct contact with mucus in the throat and nose, saliva, fluid from blisters and the stool of infected persons.

There is no vaccine to protect against the viruses that cause the disease.