Officials have closed an Arizona primary school amid an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease.
An unspecified, growing number of kindergartners and pre-kindergartners at Tse’hootsooi’ Primary Learning Center have contracted the disease in recent days, according to Window Rock Unified School District.
Parents at the school in Window Rock, the capital of Navajo Nation, have been warned to check their children for symptoms – such as reduced appetite and sores on the soles of the hands and feet – and to seek urgent medical attention.
The school has been closed since Monday, and officials have warned parents of infected children that they may still be infectious after symptoms clear up.
Officials have temporarily closed Tse’hootsooi’ Primary Learning Center in Window Rock, the capital of Navajo Nation amid an outbreak in hand, foot and mouth disease
Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is a viral infection that causes lesions to form on a sufferer’s hands, feet and mouth.
It can also affect the buttocks and genitals.
The condition is not related to foot and mouth disease in animals.
HFMD is usually not serious and does not require treatment, however, it can cause secondary infections if skin is scratched.
It is most common in children under 10, with outbreaks occurring at nurseries and schools.
It can be spread by:
- Close personal contact, such as hugging an infected person
- The air when an infected person coughs or sneezes
- Contact with feces, such as changing diapers of an infected person, then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth before washing your hands
- Contact with contaminated objects and surfaces, like touching a doorknob that has viruses on it, then touching your eyes, mouth, or nose before washing your hands
Children who contract HFMD need to increase their fluid intake, a soft diet and, if necessary, pain relief.
‘We have been notified of a number of students that have a diagnosis of hand, foot and mouth disease by a health professional and the number continue to increase in pre-k and kindergarten,’ officials of the school district said in a statement.
‘Due to this information the school will be taking extensive precaution measure and will be implementing a district wide cleansing and disinfecting plan.’