Platt High School in Meriden is dealing with several cases of Hand, Foot, Mouth Disease (HFMD).
Meriden city health officials confirmed five cases of the contagious illness, which is caused by viruses. HFMD usually occurs in infants and children under 5, but can occur in older children and adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While the disease is not usually serious, it is easily spread and there is no specific treatment. Most cases clear up in seven to 10 days.
In a letter released to families Wednesday, school officials warned to look out for symptoms, fever, reduced appetite, sore throat, a feeling of being unwell, painful sores in the mouth that usually begin as flat red spots, and a rash of flat red spots that may blister on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and sometimes the knees, elbows, buttocks, and/or genital area. Typically, symptoms appear in stages.
Students and families can take precautions including washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, avoiding close contact like kissing, hugging, or sharing cups and utensils, and disinfecting surfaces frequently.