Parents Reminded to Keep Children with Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease at Home

Parents are being reminded to keep children with Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease at home to reduce the spread of the disease among the school population.

A child with Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease is most contagious during the first week of illness and so it is important to keep infected children away from the school population for at least seven days.

Children usually become infected with the virus from other children through close contact, such as kissing, hugging, or sharing cups and eating utensils, contact with faeces as well as other contaminated objects and surfaces.

There is no vaccine to prevent the disease. However, simple steps like regular hand washing and practicing good hygiene can help reduce the risk of infection.

Hand Foot and Mouth Disease has been confirmed in 53 schools to date in SERHA – 11 schools in Kingston and St. Andrew; 18 in St. Thomas and 24 in St. Catherine. Four additional schools are being investigated in Kingston and St. Andrew and another nine schools in St. Catherine.

The Health Departments are continuing their surveillance to identify news cases and are working with the schools to ensure that these facilities are properly disinfected. The Health Departments are also carrying out health education activities.

All cases of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease should be reported to the Parish Health Department. They can be reached at:

  • Kingston and St. Andrew Health Department – 926-1550-2
  • Catherine Health Department – 907-5483 / 984-2282
  • Thomas Health Department – 703-6182/982-1619