Grenada says Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease is under control

Minister Nickolas Steele

by Linda Straker

Health Minister Nickolas Steele stated on Tuesday, that the Hand, Foot and Mouth disease outbreak in Grenada is under control, but there is always a possibility of another outbreak.

“It has not broken out into any other schools — there are 2 schools that we received an alert on,” said Steele who disclosed that he has held discussions with other health ministries and institutions in the region, as well as in the USA, 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 whether there will be another outbreak during this period, it is possible… our team has been able to react and control,” he said, during the weekly Tuesday morning post cabinet news conference. During the period of 20 to 31 October 2015, 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 daycares 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 the main focus going forward.

However, Steele said that there was a slight increase in the figure, and made a further called 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 is a legally notifiable, i.e. medical practitioners, childcare centres, kindergartens and schools with (HFMD) outbreaks MUST notify the Ministry of Health,” a Government release advised.

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