Government: Hand, foot and mouth disease under control

The Grenada government has said that the hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is now under control but warned of the possibility of a second outbreak.

“From all the reports I have received, the hand, foot and mouth outbreak is under control, it has not broken out into any other schools, there are two schools that we received an alert on,” said Health Minister Nicholas Steele.

He told reporters he has held discussion with other health ministries and institutions in the region as well as in the United States and they have recognised that there is always an outbreak around the same time in October each year.

“What is important in this instance is that it has been contained as to whether there will be another outbreak during this period, it is possible, our team has been able to react and control,” he said following the weekly Cabinet meeting.

During the period of October 20-31, last year there were similar outbreaks of HFMD among toddlers, which warranted prompt intervention by local Health officials.

As part of its control initiative, health surveillance and public health teams began gathering information and at the same time responding to reports of mild outbreaks among children at day care and pre and primary schools in some parts of the island.

Chief Medical Officer, Dr. George Mitchell had said there are just about a dozen reported cases, and that public education as well as direct interventions at the schools, will be main focus going forward.

However, Minister Steele said that there had been a slight increase in the figure and made a further call for all caregivers, health practitioners and doctors who come across a suspected case to notify the Ministry of health.

“HFMD is endemic in Grenada and (it) is legally notifiable that medical practitioners, childcare centres, kindergartens and schools with (HFMD) outbreaks must notify the Ministry of Health,” according to a government statement.

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