Mums reassured over disease outbreak
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.’