According to the Health Surveillance, the municipality of Santa Cruz do Sul in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil is reporting the emergence of several cases of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD), caused by the Coxsackie virus, in kindergarten schools.
There are three outbreaks in schools, two in the Linha Santa Cruz neighborhood and one in the city center. Each site had more than ten diagnosed children.
Aiming to assist in the interruption of the transmission chain, the Municipal Health Department (Sesa), through the Health Surveillance, sent an informative note to the directions of educational institutions to prevent the spread of the disease. The document provides guidance on how the syndrome manifests itself, incubation period, forms of transmission, clinical manifestations and prevention and control measures.
HFMD is typically a benign and self-limiting disease. Most common in young children, it presents as fever, oral lesions and rash on the hands, feet and buttocks. The oral lesions consist of rapidly-ulcerating vesicles on the buccal mucosa, tongue, palate and gums. The rash consists of papulovesicular lesions on the palms, fingers and soles, which generally persist for seven to 10 days, and maculopapular lesions on the buttocks.
Hand, foot, and mouth disease is caused by viruses that belong to the Enterovirus genus (group). This group of viruses includes polioviruses, coxsackieviruses, echoviruses, and enteroviruses.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is no vaccine to protect against the viruses that cause hand, foot, and mouth disease.
A person can lower their risk of being infected by
- Washing hands often with soap and water, especially after changing diapers and using the toilet.
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces and soiled items, including toys.
- Avoiding close contact such as kissing, hugging, or sharing eating utensils or cups with people with hand, foot, and mouth disease.