With the resumption of face-to-face classes, the Westmoreland Health Department is appealing to school administrators and parents to be on the lookout for symptoms of hand, foot, and mouth disease HMFD among children.
The Health Department said that while there is no outbreak of the disease in the parish, there have been 12 reported cases of the viral illness across eight communities over the past two months.
Cases have been detected in Seaton Crescent, Farm Pen, Chantilly, Hudson Street, Meylers Avenue, and Top Road in Little London, and Georges Plain and Shrewsbury in Petersfield. The individuals were diagnosed at health centres across the parish.
Parish Health Promotion and Education Officer, Gerald Miller, said that the contagious viral illness is common in infants and children under five years old but can also be transmitted to older children and adults.
He explained that the disease spreads easily in childcare facilities due to frequent diaper changes, and because young children often put their hands in their mouths.
Mr. Miller said the health department is being proactive and has placed educational institutions on alert.