Important Health Information November 21, 2018




The community has had a few cases of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease in recent weeks so here is some information we wanted to share. Mainly, please keep your child home if they are running a fever, have a weeping rash or are not feeling well enough to participate in school activities. They should be fever free for 24 hours before returning to school.


Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) is a common viral illness of infants and children. It is characterized by fever, sores in the mouth, and a rash with vesicles (blisters). HFMD begins with a mild fever, poor appetite, fatigue, and, frequently, a sore throat. One or two days after the fever begins, sores develop in the mouth. They begin as small red spots that blister and then often become ulcers. They are usually located on the tongue, gums, and inside of the cheeks. The skin rash develops over 1–2 days with flat or raised red spots, some with vesicles (blisters). The rash does not itch and it is usually located on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. It may also appear on the buttocks. A person with HFMD may have only the rash or the mouth ulcers.


Mode of Transmission

HMFD is spread from person-to-person by direct contact with nose and throat discharges or the stool of infected persons. A person is most contagious during the first week of the illness. HFMD is not transmitted to or from pets or other animals.

Incubation Period

Usually 3–6 days. Fever is often the first symptom.

Infectious Period

HFMD is infectious 2 days before the rash appears and during the acute stage of illness, perhaps longer. Virus may be found in respiratory secretions for several days and in stool for several weeks.


School/Nurse Responsibility

1. Report to your local health jurisdiction clusters of cases.

2. Exclude student only if they are too ill to participate in school activities. Isolation is not necessary.


Future Prevention and Education

1. Clean or dispose of articles soiled with nose and throat discharges.

2. Instruct students not to share items that may be contaminated with saliva such as beverage containers.

3. Cover mouth with tissue when coughing or sneezing. If no tissue is available, encourage students to “catch your cold in your elbow” by covering their mouth and nose with the crook of their arm and        coughing or sneezing into their shirt or coat sleeve.

4. Encourage proper hand-washing techniques.


For more information see the following links:

Seattle News Videos | KIRO-TV

Hand Foot and Mouth Disease Fact Sheet