Several cases of head, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) have been reported at both Pequannock and Kinnelon High Schools. Unusual, because this illness is generally seen in  the preschool and young elementary school
population.  This name sounds pretty scary, but it is the term that describes a mild illness caused by the coxsackie virus. Most contagious in the first week of infection, the virus is spread primarily through coughs and sneezes or through contact with unclean hands or surfaces contacted by individuals who have the virus.  Symptoms include fever, reduced appetite, and sore throat.  After fever, individuals often develop painful sores in the back of the throat and on the palms  of hands and soles of feet (hence the name HFMD).

As with any virus, hand washing is key to preventing this infection. Remind your child to wash his or her hands before eating and after using the bathroom, to cough or sneeze into his or her elbow, to avoid touching their faces with unclean hands, and not to share drinks with their peers.  If your child has a fever (over 100 degrees F without using Tylenol or Advil for 24 hours), please keep him at home.

More information can be found at the following web site:

http://www.cdc.gov/hand-foot-mouth/index.html

And as always, feel free to call me with any questions or concerns you
may have.

Nurse Jilda