The Minister of Health of the Bahamas confirmed via media on 23 October 2017 that an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is affecting children in the country. The Minister expects to see a considerable number of cases before the outbreak is over, although figures are unclear at this time.Outbreaks of hand, foot and mouth disease are uncommon in the Bahamas.
Advice for travellers
HFMD is a viral infection most common in children. It is usually a mild disease causing a blistering rash on the hands and feet, fever, sore throat and sores in the mouth. Serious illness is unusual and most people recover in a week to ten days.
The infection is contagious and spreads by direct contact, coughs and sneezes, by contact with saliva, faeces or blister fluid, or with surfaces contaminated with the virus.
There is no specific treatment for HFMD. No vaccine is available.
• Wash hands regularly with soap and water, especially after changing nappies.
• Encourage and help children to wash their hands.
• Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid close contact, such as kissing and hugging, with people who have HFMD
• Avoid sharing cups, plates and cutlery with people who have HFMD.
• Disinfect frequently touched items and surfaces where someone has HFMD.