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Education ministry: School closures should be last resort in hand, foot and mouth disease spread

Published:Wednesday | September 30, 2015 | 12:00 AM
A noticeboard at an infant school recently advises parents of school closure plans.

With the outbreak of the hand, foot and mouth disease spreading to 26 early childhood institutions across four parishes, the Ministry of Education says there are no plans to close any more schools.

Communications Director at the ministry Byron Buckley says school administrators have been informed that suspension of classes should be a last resort.

He says the ministry has informed school administrators how to deal with students who turn up with symptoms of the disease.

Yesterday the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA) announced that the hand, foot and mouth disease had spread to 14 schools in St Catherine, seven in St Thomas and six in Kingston and St Andrew.

Although seeking to downplay the spread of the disease, Director of Health Promotion and Protection in the Health Ministry Dr Sonia Copeland cautioned that the country could soon see infections in primary age students.