SOCIAL Development Minister Cherrie-Ann Crichlow-Cockburn says there has been no outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease at ASJA Primary School, San Fernando, but 42 students with gastroenteritis-like symptoms.
She was responding to an urgent question in the House yesterday from Caroni East MP Dr Tim Gopeesingh about recent reports of an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease and why there have been no public advisories and measures to address it.
Crichlow-Cockburn said in response to alleged cases of hand foot and mouth disease at the school, a combined health care team comprising staff of the County Medical Officer of Health Office, Victoria, the San Fernando City Corporation Public Health Department and the South West Regional Health Authority visited on November 29.
“They identified individuals complaining of gastroenteritis-like symptoms (fever, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea), and not hand, food and mouth disease, as was reported.”
She said 42 children from the standard one and two classes had the symptoms, none were severe and no one required hospitalisation.
The City Public Health Department reported that the school and environs were clean and free of mosquitoes and rodents, she said, and the school has been sanitised to rid it of potential microbiological pathogens.
Crichlow-Cockburn reported that as a precautionary measure students from the affected classes and their siblings only were advised to stay home on Friday. She added sampling will be done to identify a potential microbiological cause for this episode.
Classes are expected to resume as normal on Monday.