Mums re­as­sured over dis­ease out­break

The Oban Times - - NEWS -

FORT WIL­LIAM moth­ers have taken to so­cial me­dia to warn of hand, foot and mouth dis­ease pos­si­bly ‘mak­ing the rounds’.

One mum posted on Face­book to let oth­ers know her child had been in­fected with the virus, urg­ing mums to keep an eye out for symp­toms.

Dr James Dou­glas, from Tweed­dale Med­i­cal Prac­tice in Fort Wil­liam, con­firmed it was the time of year that ‘mini out­breaks’ could oc­cur.

He said: ‘Hand, foot and mouth is like any other virus – it can spread quickly, but it’s noth­ing to be con­cerned about if your child be­comes in­fected.’

Symp­toms of the dis­ease usu­ally be­gin with painful red blis­ters on the in­side of the mouth, and are fol­lowed by a rash on the hands and soles of the feet.

An­other Fort Wil­liam mum told The Oban

Times she knew a few chil­dren who had brought it back af­ter be­ing on hol­i­day in Tur­key.

Fol­low­ing re­ports of an out­break of the dis­ease in both Fort Wil­liam and Mal­laig, a spokesper­son for NHS High­land said: ‘We haven’t been con­tacted by any­one re­port­ing an in­crease in cases in ei­ther of these ar­eas. How­ever, hand, foot and mouth dis­ease (HFMD) is a very com­mon in­fec­tion caused by a virus.

‘Ev­ery two or three years there does seem to be an in­crease in cases. Out­breaks of the in­fec­tion can oc­cur in nurs­eries, play­groups and schools due to young chil­dren hav­ing lots of con­tact with one an­other.’

Dr Dou­glas added that the strong­est pre­scrip­tion he would of­fer to chil­dren would be Calpol, as it is a vi­ral in­fec­tion which an­tibi­otics would not help. He said: ‘It nor­mally works its way out of the child’s sys­tem and doesn’t cause any par­tic­u­lar harm. A lit­tle bit of com­mon sense if it is go­ing about would just be to en­sure your child is wash­ing their hands fre­quently, and not shar­ing cups or bot­tles with some­one who is in­fected. Re­ally the same ad­vise we would give to peo­ple to avoid a com­mon cold.’

He added that adults were ‘un­likely to get hand, foot and mouth’ but this was the time that peo­ple tend to see it ap­pear.

The NHS High­land spokesper­son added: ‘The blis­ters usu­ally last for seven to 10 days. Peo­ple can be­come in­fected at any time, but it is most com­mon in chil­dren un­der 10.

‘The in­fec­tion is spread by di­rect con­tact with saliva, fluid from the blis­ters and nose and throat dis­charges. The most im­por­tant pre­ven­tive mea­sure is good hy­giene.’

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