Local Disease Outbreak 14 May 12

The Martin County area and other locations in southern Minnesota have seen outbreaks of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease recently. The disease causes painful sores in the mouth and on the palms and soles of children. It is often accompanied by fever and rash. And the outbreak can be relatively difficult to contain because kids are contagious for 3 to 6 days before they start to show symptoms. The only treatment for the viral infection is analgesic medication, such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen for the discomfort. The only course of action for parents is to keep children who experience a rash or fever home from school or daycare. The spread of the disease can be slowed by frequent hand-washing, thoroughly cleaning objects and surfaces that may be contaminated, and avoiding close contact with people who are infected.