Virus is spreading through school district

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

A virus is spreading fast through one eastern Kentucky school district. Health officials say Hand, Foot, Mouth disease cases are increasing, but parents should not panic.

Nurses in Floyd County are seeing an increase in Hand, Foot, Mouth Disease among children. It causes sores on the mouth and rashes on feet and hands.

Hand, foot, mouth disease is a virus spread by contact with others. It mostly affects children under the age of 10. Officials say the illness is making its way through some Floyd County Elementary classes.
"It's everywhere. You don't need to panic. It's just a virus; no different than a cold," said Martha Ellis, RN with the Floyd County Health Department.

Though the disease is contagious, school officials say there is no need for parents to keep well children at home from school. Any student with a fever though is being sent home.

"Anything we can do to keep our kids safe and healthy, we're going to do that because learning is important and it's hard to learn if you're not feeling well and you're sick," said Superintendent Henry Webb.

Nurses say the symptoms usually show up one to two days after a child is exposed. There is no treatment for the virus.

Nurses say the best way to stop the disease from spreading is to wash your hands. "It's just spread through contact, you know if someone's been exposed to it, you don't want to be hugging or kissing them," said Ellis.

Health officials expect the number of Hand, Foot, Mouth disease cases to decrease once school is open for a few months.

If any parents have any questions, you can call the School Board Office.

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