LIVONIA – Though cases of Coxsackie disease, otherwise known as hand, foot and mouth disease, have been reported at Livonia High School, the Livingston County Department of Health says that the blister-like rashes are common every year and do not pose a serious threat to students.
Lisa Beardsley, Senior Public Health Educator for the Department of Health, says that the disease most commonly affects children under age 10, causing mild fever, poor appetite, runny nose and sore throat. Uncomfortable blister-like rashes typically develop on the hands, feet and in the mouth a few days after initial symptoms.
“The goal is not to create panic or worry as it is a very common, typically mild virus,” said Beardsley. “At this point in time, we continue to provide education and assistance to the schools and the community as needed. The most important thing to do for treatment is to keep the fever under control and keep hydrated. Lots of popsicles really help.”
The virus is spread by direct contact with infected bodily discharges from the nose, mouth and anus, as well as through blisters.
The window of contagion usually lasts from the first sign of symptoms until after the blister-like lesions fade. The virus is can remain contractible for several weeks, however, through the stool.
Specific tests can be done to confirm illness, but are often omitted due to expenses outweighing the severity of disease.
Officials advise that children who feel ill or show symptoms should be kept at home until they feel better.
Livonia High School is taking extra hygenic precautions at the school and is partnering with Livingston County Health to keep the spread of the mild disease to a minimum.