Kids hit by virus but no need to panic

MUMS and dads have been warned about a disease spreading amongst children.

Parents of primary school pupils in Milngavie and Bearsden have been asked to be on the lookout for a mild infection whose rates begin to soar in the autumn.

In a letter sent out by schools, Dr Syed Ahmed of Greater Glasgow NHS explains the background and symptoms of Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD).

Outbreaks

He said: “Currently there are many reports in nurseries and schools of a generally mild viral illness known as HFMD. Often there is a pattern of small outbreaks in children attending nurseries and schools. This is a common occurrence in early autumn.

“HFMD is characterised by a rash which develops into small blisters on the hands and mouth ulcers on the inner cheeks, gums and tongue.

“Children affected with HFMD may develop a sore throat and a high temperature.

“The virus is spread to other children by coughs, sneezes and mouth secretions. It has absolutely no association and is completely different with Foot and Mouth Disease in cattle, sheep and pigs.

“The best way to prevent spread of the disease while the child is unwell is to keep the child at home. When the child feels well they can return to school or nursery. There is no need to wait for the last blisters to disappear.

“There may be children in the school spreading the virus who have been infected but are not unwell. Good hand washing and hygiene standards should be encouraged.

“No treatment is required for this disease. Fluid replacement and use of over the counter products such as paracetamol can be used as required. Recovery usually takes a few days.”

He added that adults rarely contract the disease as most have immunity from catching it in childhood and that there are no additional concerns over pregnant women catching it.