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Hand, Foot & Mouth
Please note we are aware of two confirmed cases of Hand, Foot and Mouth disease and of another suspected case. We would like to prevent the spread of this uncomfortable virus. Please see below for information from the NHS:
Hand, foot and mouth disease is a common infection that causes mouth ulcers and spots on the hands and feet.
It's most common in young children – particularly those under 10 – but can affect older children and adults as well.
Hand, foot and mouth disease can be unpleasant, but it will usually clear up by itself within 7 to 10 days. You can normally look after yourself or your child at home.
The infection is not related to foot and mouth disease, which affects cattle, sheep and pigs.
The first symptoms may include:
- a high temperature (fever), usually around 38-39C (100.4-102.2F)
- a general sense of feeling unwell
- loss of appetite
- abdominal (tummy) pain
- a sore throat and mouth
To help ease your or your child's symptoms:
- drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration – water or milk are ideal; it may help to give a baby smaller but more frequent bottle or breast milk feeds
- eat soft foods such as mashed potatoes, yoghurt and soups if eating and swallowing is uncomfortable – avoid hot, acidic or spicy foods and drinks
- take over-the-counter painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, to ease a sore throat and fever – aspirin shouldn't be given to children under the age of 16; paracetamol is best if you're pregnant
- try gargling with warm, salty water to relieve discomfort from mouth ulcers – it's important not to swallow the mixture, so this isn't recommended for young children
- alternatively, use mouth gels, rinses or sprays for mouth ulcers – these are available from pharmacies, but aren't routinely recommended, and some aren't suitable for young children; ask your pharmacist for advice and make sure you read the instructions first
You should keep your child away from nursery or school until they're feeling better. Adults with the condition should stay away from work until they're feeling better.
It's not always possible to avoid getting hand, foot and mouth disease, but following the advice below can help stop the infection spreading.
- Stay off work, school or nursery until you or your child are feeling better – there's usually no need to wait until the last blister has healed, provided you're otherwise well.
- Use tissues to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze and put used tissues in a bin as soon as possible.
- Wash your hands with soap and water often – particularly after going to the toilet, coughing, sneezing or handling nappies, and before preparing food.
- Avoid sharing cups, utensils, towels and clothes with people who are infected.
- Disinfect any surfaces or objects that could be contaminated – it's best to use a bleach-based household cleaner.
- Wash any bedding or clothing that could have become contaminated separately on a hot wash.