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The Ministry of Health is reporting that up to Thursday evening, 98 schools across the island have been affected by the outbreak of Hand Foot and Mouth disease.
This has affected over 3-hundred-children and forced the closure of eleven schools.
St. Catherine is the worst affected parish, with over 1-hundred-and-50 children in 38 schools reporting symptoms of the highly contagious disease.
The Health Ministry revealed today that the disease has been affecting some schools since early the start of the new school year in September.
Health Minister, Dr. Fenton Ferguson says the majority of cases of hand-foot-and-mouth disease have been reported in St. Catherine, Kingston and St. Andrew
Dr. Ferguson says 11 of the affected schools have been ordered closed.
The Health Minister says some of the cases confirmed by his team, date back to early September.
The Minister and his senior officers were asked at a press conference today, to state why it took so long for the public to be made aware of the presence of the disease in schools.
The Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Marion Bullock Ducase, says the disease was not being actively tracked.
Dr. Ducasse says to date, there’s nothing to suggest that the spread of the disease is due to the drought affecting several parts of the island.