Social & Community News
14 September 2017

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease in Rustenburg

Rustenburg – In an interview with the Platinum Weekly newspaper this week, 11 September, a pharmacist’s assistant of Dis-Chem Rustenburg confirmed that five incidents of the hand-foot-and-mouth disease were diagnosed in the city.

“This disease is common amongst children but may also occur in adults,” Benedine Dekker, pharmacist’s assistant of Dis-Chem Rustenburg said. “It can occur anytime of the year bit is most common in the summer and fall.”

What causes hand-foot-and-mouth disease and how is it spread?

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is caused by a virus called an enterovirus. The virus spreads easily through coughing and sneezing. It can also spread through infected stool, such as when you change a diaper or when a young child gets stool on his or her hands and then touches objects that other children put in their mouths.

It usually takes three to six days for a person to get symptoms of hand-foot-and-mouth disease after being exposed to the virus. This is called the incubation period.

What are the symptoms?

At first your child may feel tired, get a sore throat, or have a high fever of around 38°C to 39°C. Then in a day or two, sores or blisters may appear in or on the mouth and on the hands, feet, and sometimes the buttocks. In some cases a skin rash may appear before the blisters do. The blisters may break open and crust over.

The sores and blisters usually go away in a week or so. In some cases there are no symptoms, or they are very mild. Parents may get the disease from their children and not even realise it.

How is hand-foot-and-mouth disease diagnosed?

A doctor can tell if your child has hand-foot-and-mouth disease by the symptoms you describe and by looking at the sores and blisters. Tests usually aren’t needed.

“This is not a serious disease but must be treated,” says Hilda Dyanson, clinic sister at Dis-Chem Rustenburg. “The sores are usually very itchy, especially to the young ones.”

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