Somewhere less than a hundred cases of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease, have been diagnosed among children in Belize City, the Ministry of Health revealed in a press release last Friday, June 22.
Health authorities say this outbreak is a mild, self-limiting flare-up, caused by a virus which affects children under 10.
Its common symptoms are fever, sore throat and blisters resembling chicken pox on the mouth, hands, feet and sometimes on the buttocks.
Recovery time from this infection is seven to ten days. Health experts say the disease is not life-threatening, but those infected will experience severe discomfort for about a week.
This disease, which is caused by a virus, is contagious, and is spread through coughing, sneezing and poor hygiene. It can also be spread through feces.
This disease should not be confused with foot & mouth disease which affects cattle, and is otherwise known as Mad Cow Disease.
There is no cure for H, F & M Disease, but symptoms may be treated with fever reducers, pain relievers and soothing liquids to relieve discomfort.
Health facilities throughout the country are equipped to manage this disease.
Most of the cases seen so far are from pre-school, primary school and daycare facilities. This illness most commonly affects children under 10, who have not yet learned adequate hygiene.
The Health ministry is saying that frequent hand-washing, washing after using the bathroom and covering one’s mouth will help to keep the virus at bay.