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Fifteen childcare centres across far north Queensland hit with hand, foot and mouth disease

Urgent alert after 15 childcare centres are hit with a viral outbreak – causing dozens of emergency room visits

  • Fifteen centres in Queensland hit by outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease 
  • Health authorities have warned parents be on alert for the viral infection
  • So far 60 people have been present at Cairns hospital’s emergency department
  • It causes rash or blisters on the hands and feet, as well as in or around the mouth 

At least 15 childcare centres have been hit by an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease in far north Queensland.

Health authorities have warned parents in particular to be on alert for the viral infection, which has seen 60 people present at Cairns hospital’s emergency department since the start of the year.

At least 15 daycare centres have been affected in the Cairns and Tablelands regions since early January, authorities say.

At least 15 childcare centres have been hit by an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease in far north Queensland with nine people admitted to the Cairns Hospital (pictured) 

The disease is usually mild and occurs mainly in young children but can also affect older children and adults.

Of the 60 hospital presentations, nine people had to be admitted.

The disease causes a rash or blisters on the hands and feet, as well as in or around the mouth.

It is most commonly caused by the coxsackie virus and mainly spreads through contact with fluid from inside the blisters, or via droplets from sneezing and coughing.

Hand foot and mouth disease is not related to the foot and mouth disease found in animals.

Hand, foot and mouth disease causes a rash or blisters on the hands and feet, as well as in or around the mouth. It's most common in children

Hand, foot and mouth disease causes a rash or blisters on the hands and feet, as well as in or around the mouth. It’s most common in children

HAND, FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE 

Hand, foot and mouth disease causes a rash or blisters on the hands and feet, as well as in or around the mouth

It’s most commonly found in children but can affect adults as well

It is most commonly caused by the coxsackie virus and mainly spreads through contact with fluid from inside the blisters, or via droplets from sneezing and coughing

Symptoms can last for around seven to ten days

The disease can be easily passed from one person to another and some can contract the virus more than once 

The disease will resolve on its own within a few days and there is no specific treatment

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