No announcement yet.

Jamaica: HFMD

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Shiloh
    Re: Jamaica: HFMD


    HFMD confirmed in St James institution

    Published: Friday | October 16, 2009


    Five confirmed cases of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) have been identified at a private-run school in Montego Bay, St James.

    It is understood that the parents of the infected children informed the school, and the health department was subsequently notified.

    The school's operation has not been disrupted by the outbreak.

    "We were informed by the parents and the health personnel came (on Wednesday), did their assessment and made recommendations," the principal told The Gleaner yesterday.

    Precautionary measures

    "They even had an educational session with the staff and we sent out letters to the parents. We have been taking precautionary measures," the principal added.

    Last week, classes were suspended at a preparatory school in St Andrew following the detection of HFMD in a kindergarten student.

    HFMD is a contagious condition caused by intestinal viruses, and usually affects infants and children. It usually starts out with a fever and weakness about a week after exposure.

    Those affected usually develop bumps inside and around the mouth, and on and around the hands and feet.

    Leave a comment:

  • Shiloh
    Re: Jamaica: HFMD


    Health ministry confirms HFMD spread in schools

    Published: Saturday | October 10, 2009

    Nadisha Hunter, Gleaner Writer

    THE Ministry of Health yesterday confirmed that there has been an increase in the outbreak of the hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) in a number of learning institutions; however, ministry officials did not disclose figures.

    In a release yesterday, the ministry said that precautionary measures were being taken in kindergartens, primary and preparatory schools in light of the outbreak in some institutions.

    It said the ministry's public-health inspectors would carry out inspections on Monday to ensure that proper hygiene and sanitation practices were being observed and appropriate facilities existed.

    The inspection process at schools will last for three weeks.

    four infected

    Classes were suspended at the Stella Maris Preparatory School in upper St Andrew earlier this week due to the detection of students with the illness.

    The school reported that one student had been diagnosed with the virus, but the Ministry of Health said four students were infected.

    The doors of the school remained closed yesterday following the premature ending of classes on Thursday.

    Chief Medical Officer Dr Sheila Campbell-Forrester said that schools should ensure that children observe general hygiene practices to reduce the incidence of spread.

    "We have observed an increase in the rate of viral infections recently. These can be reduced if we observe good hygiene practices," she said.

    "We continue to urge schools and parents to monitor children and ensure that they wash their hands frequently and properly with soap and water," Campbell-Forrester stressed.

    keep children at home

    The ministry is urging parents to keep children at home for at least seven days if they are experiencing any HFMD symptoms, or if they have flu-like symptoms. Schools are advised to contact their parish health department if a child is found to have HFMD symptoms.

    In the meantime, public-health specialist Dr Winston Davidson said that there was no need for parents to panic over the outbreak. "From time to time, we have outbreaks of such a nature and we control it. So I am confident that the public-health department will control this one," he said.

    HFMD is caused by intestinal viruses. It usually affects children and is contagious.

    It is not to be confused with foot-and-mouth disease, which affects sheep, cattle and swine.

    Hand, foot and mouth disease


    The disease usually begins with a fever, poor appetite, malaise (feeling vaguely unwell), and often, with a sore throat. One or two days after fever onset, painful sores usually develop in the mouth. They begin as small red spots that blister and then often become ulcers. The sores are usually located on the tongue, gums, and inside of the cheeks. A non-itchy skin rash develops over one-two days. The rash has flat or raised red spots, sometimes with blisters. The rash is usually located on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. It may also appear on the buttocks and/or genitalia. A person with HFMD may have only the rash or only the mouth sores.


    The following good hygiene practices can lower the risk of infection. These include:

    Washing hands frequently.

    Cleaning dirty surfaces and soiled items, including toys, first with soap and water, then disinfect.

    Avoiding close contact, such as kissing, hugging, sharing eating utensils or cups with persons with HFMD.

    Information provided by public-health specialist Dr Winston Davidson.

    Leave a comment:

  • Shiloh
    Re: Jamaica: HFMD


    Corporate Area Prep School Closed by Health Dept.
    Friday, October 09, 2009

    The Ministry of Health has confirmed four cases of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) at Stella Maris Preparatory School in Kingston, after a team of health officials visited the institution and carried out their investigations.

    'Due to the highly contagious nature of the disease, the school was ordered closed Thursday (October 8) by the Kingston and St. Andrew Health Department, to facilitate adequate cleaning and sanitization," a release from the Ministry of Health Thursday night explained.

    Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Sheila Campbell Forrester noted that the Ministry is getting the full cooperation of the school's administration.

    Dr. Campbell Forrester pointed out that it is important to note that this disease is not the same as the disease found in animals.

    "They are not related at all. In fact, the disease found in animals cannot be transferred to humans and the reverse is also true. They are also both caused by different viruses," she said.

    HFMD is a viral illness common in infants and children. It causes fever and blister like eruptions in the mouth, usually on the tongue, gum and inside the cheek and/or a rash on the skin.

    Other symptoms include malaise, poor appetite and sore throat. Infection is easily spread from person to person, as a result of direct contact with infectious virus found in the nose and throat secretions, saliva, blister fluid and stool of infected persons.

    Leave a comment:

  • Shiloh
    started a topic Jamaica: HFMD

    Jamaica: HFMD


    Hand, foot and mouth disease hits St Andrew school

    Published: Friday | October 9, 2009

    Nadisha Hunter, Gleaner Writer

    A prominent preparatory school in St Andrew has suspended classes because of the detection of a student with hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD).

    The doors of the school will remain closed today following a premature ending of classes yesterday in an effort to control the viral disease.

    It is reported that more than a week ago, a kindergarten student at the school was confirmed with the illness, prompting the institution to consider precautionary measures to keep the students safe.

    HFMD is a human syndrome caused by intestinal viruses. It usually affects infants and children, and is contagious.

    Not serious

    According to the Ministry of Health, the disease is not serious as the illness is typically mild.

    Though the school claimed that only one student was diagnosed with the disease, the health ministry told The Gleaner that two cases were found. Other reports suggest that even more students might be affected.

    The chairman of the school's board said the decision to close the institution was taken to allow time for a general clean-up and sanitising exercise.

    "Under the guidance of the Ministry of Health, we have been advised that it is best to approach the issue in this manner to minimise, to the extent that we reasonably can, the possibility of our children spreading the infectious disease," he said.

    Urged to be safe at home

    He said the parents are being encouraged to take precautionary measures at home while the school continues to do its part.

    "We teach the children good hygienic practices here, but we try to get the parents involved in an effort to control the disease."

    Parents frantic

    At the school yesterday, parents were seen frantically collecting their children after being informed of the early closure.

    One parent, who was obviously displeased, told The Gleaner she was tired of viruses breaking out at the school.

    "Just the other day it was H1N1, now is this virus. I am just wondering what is next," stated the parent, who asked not to be identified.

    However, other parents were just grateful that the school was taking the precautions.

    The HFMD can be spread through direct contact with the mucus, saliva or faeces of an infected person.

    HFMD is not to be confused with foot-and-mouth disease, which affects sheep, cattle and swine.