Hand, Foot and Mouth Outbreak

15 July 2010

Taranaki DHB’s Public Health Unit has been in contact with a child care centre in Hawera where a number of cases of hand, foot and mouth disease have occurred. 

The Public Health Unit is satisfied that measures have been taken by the preschool to prevent the spread of the disease.

Taranaki DHB Medical Officer of Health Dr Greg Simmons urges parents to take their child to a GP if they become sick, and to keep them at home until they were well.

He also reminds people to follow basic hand hygiene practices.

About Hand, Food and Mouth Disease

Hand, foot and mouth disease* is a mild viral illness which is common in childhood and has symptoms of fever, headache, poor appetite, sore throat and a general unwell feeling. Blisters develop in the mouth, palms of the hands and soles of the feet and may form ulcers.

The virus is shed through direct contact with saliva or faeces of those infected. Ways to prevent the spread are: Washing hands well, not sharing toys, towels or facecloths, disinfecting surfaces with bleach solution and thoroughly washing soiled clothing.

Symptoms usually appear 3-4 days after exposure to a case and last for 7-10 days.

The illness is self limiting but medication can be given to relieve symptoms such as fever or discomfort.  

*Hand, foot and mouth disease is not to be confused with the animal infection Foot and Mouth disease, which does not occur in humans. 

For more information please call

Contact Sue Carrington
TDHB Media Advisor
Tel 021 457 978

Last updated: Monday, October 4, 2010

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