If you or anyone you know comes down with a sudden fever, sore throat and eventually painful red sores around the mouth and skin you may have contracted the Coxsackie Virus, which the St. Kitts and Nevis Ministry of Health claims is spreading in the Federation.

Health officials say the virus is is most prevalent in children under five-years-old, but people of all ages can contract the sickness. The disease brings with it fever and sore throat that then develops into painful red lesions on the mouth and various parts of the skin.

The disease first sprouted up in Taiwan in 1998, where a major outbreak infected 1.5 million people, mainly children. Since then, the disease has appeared in China, Cambodia and Syria. Although millions have been afflicted by the disease, it becomes fatal only in extremely rare cases. Out of the 1.5 million affected in Taiwan, there were only 78 deaths reported.

The virus spreads through human contact with someone who has the disease, mostly by contact with secretions from the affected. There is no specific cure for the illness and once someone has contracted the disease effects are expected to last from 7-10 days.

The Ministry of health urges the following precautions to lower risk of infection:

  1. All infected persons should remain isolated until the fever, mouth sores and blisters have resolved
  2. Show your children how to practice good hygiene, especially proper hand washing techniques and avoiding bringing foreign objects in contact with the mouth
  3. Day care providers should exercise special precautions and wash hands thoroughly when it comes to using bathroom facilities and preparing food.
  4. Disinfect all common areas proactively, and follow a strict schedule of ensuring all areas that come in to frequent human contact are clean.
  5. Avoid kissing, hugging or sharing eating utensils with a person who has the condition/.

The office of the chief medical officer urges the Federation to follow these instructions to risk spreading this or any contagious disease.