Warning on kids disease outbreak

CASES of the common childhood affliction hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) have been reported in Warrnambool childcare centres. 

The disease is common in young children with symptoms including high temperature and small blister-like lesions on the inside of the mouth, palms of hands, soles of feet and the nappy area. 

The infection is spread by direct contact with fluid from skin blisters, nose and throat discharges, droplets and faeces.

Warrnambool City Council’s communications manager Nick Higgins said there had been a couple of cases of HFMD reported in council run centres. 

The Standard understands other privately run centres in town also have reported cases. 

Mr Higgins said parents are advised to keep their child home until they are feeling well and all blisters have dried. 

“It is also important to have the condition verified by a doctor,” he said. 

“We make sure staff and children practice cough and sneezing etiquette and hand hygiene at all times and ensure that appropriate cleaning practices are being followed within the service.” 

The Victorian Department of Health says HFMD is a mild illness that resolves within a few days. 

“There is no specific treatment and usually none is required,” the department says. 

“Use paracetamol (not aspirin) as directed for fever and any discomfort. Offer plenty of fluids, but avoid orange juice, which is acidic and may cause pain with mouth ulcers. Allow blisters to dry naturally. Do not pierce blisters, as the fluid within them is infectious.

“If a child with HFMD complains of severe headache, if fever persists, of if there are any worrying symptoms, consult your local doctor immediately.”

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