Irish children hospitalised with highly contagious disease

12th Dec 17 | News

According to The Connacht Tribune, at least four children have been hospitalised in Ga;way city after developing complications from Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease.

Hand, foot and mouth disease is a common, mild illness caused by a type of virus called an enterovirus. It gets its name from the non-itchy rash that develops on the palms of your hands and soles of your feet. It can also cause ulcers in your mouth and make you feel generally unwell, although some people have no symptoms.

According to the HSE, the disease is very contagious and is common in children under 10 years of age. However, adolescents and adults can also be affected.

The first symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease include:

  • fever and feeling unwell,
  • loss of appetite,
  • sore throat, and
  • small red spots in the mouth, throat and skin.

Later symptoms:

Mouth lesions

After one or two days, red spots in the mouth will develop into painful ulcers, particularly around the tongue, gums and inside of the cheeks. It may be difficult to eat, drink and swallow.

Skin rash

Any red spots on the skin will turn into a non-itchy rash over the following one to two days. The spots are flat or raised, sometimes with blisters, and smaller than chickenpox sores.

The rash develops on the palms of the hands, the soles of the feet and between the fingers and toes. In some cases, spots also develop on the buttocks and genitals.

Preventing hand, foot and mouth disease:

  • Always wash your hands after going to the toilet and handling nappies, and before preparing food. If your child has hand, foot and mouth disease, encourage them to wash their hands regularly as well.
  • Avoid sharing utensils with people who are infected with hand, foot and mouth disease.
  • Make sure that shared work surfaces are clean.

For more information you can visit the HSE website here.