BVI News

Nearly 60 confirmed cases of Hand-foot-and-mouth disease in BVI; one rare adolescent case

By Kamal Haynes, BVI News Staff

Coming off the heels of news that more than 10 daycares are grappling with the Hand-foot-and-mouth disease, health officials have confirmed nearly 60 cases in the last five weeks.

Speaking at the first community meeting about the disease at the Ebenezer Thomas Primary School on Thursday, October 31, National Epidemiologist Harmony Brewley said the local cases have been increasing rapidly and have not only affected children.

“We had about three cases in the last week of September and it jumped from three to approximately 15 … So right now, we have about 55 healthy infants and children that came down with Hand-foot-and-mouth disease. And as of this week, we actually had an adolescent, with Hand-foot-and-mouth disease,” Brewley told residents.

With one adolescent in territory contracting the disease, the concern — particularly among local health officials — have grown.

“The reason why this is important is because adolescents don’t usually develop symptoms or show symptoms of Hand-foot-and-mouth disease. We (adults and young adults) are usually asymptomatic carriers, meaning that you might have the virus within your body but you might not be showing outward symptoms that you have the disease,” Brewley explained.

She noted a new strain of the disease which is having a greater than usual impact on victims. And in some instances internationally, this new strain has resulted in death, she said.

Not just the BVI

On that point, Brewley noted that the disease is affecting several countries including some in the region.

“There have large outbreaks almost every three years in the United States, they have recently discovered a new strain of Hand-foot-and-mouth disease in Virginia,” she said.

“We have very large outbreaks in Asia and along that south pacific region and many Caribbean countries such as Grenada, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Antigua and even this week St Lucia put out an alert that there are seeing an outbreak within their schools,” Brewley added.

Washing hands frequently can prevent the disease

Meanwhile, Chief Environmental Health Officer Lionel Michael explained the many preventative practices parents and daycare owners can adopt to help in reducing the spread of the disease. 

Of the many measures listed, he said the frequent and thorough washing of one’s hands is extremely important.

“Handwashing is probably the single most important thing that we can do to prevent diseases. We can prevent a multitude of diseases by simply washing our hands regularly and thoroughly,” Michael stated.

Thursday’s meeting was spearheaded by the Ministry of Health, the Environmental Health Division and the BVI Health Services Authority.

The second meeting which is designed to target stakeholders in the Towers, West End and Carrot Bay areas is on Friday, November 1 at the Leonora Delville Primary School. That meeting starts at 5:30 pm.

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  1. MOre info says:

    The schools affected should be mentions to help us with infants be better prepare or even assist in helping

    Like 10
    • Wash says:

      How about some basic hygiene. Teach the parents to wash their kids, bathe them and stop playing with their s**t. This is a basic third world sickness spread through lack of basic hygiene. Close all the daycares till all symptoms are gone or this will spread to the entire population

      Like 5
      Dislike 4
      • @Wash says:

        Climb down off your self imposed first world pomposity. Throughout the USA, EU, Asia and other, there is always an out break of an infection from time to time in day care centers.

        So, take your fisrt world bigotry on line and do some reading.

        Like 4
        Dislike 1
      • @Wash says:

        slander and meaness are tools of losers. Hopeless loser you clearly are.

        Like 2
        Dislike 2
  2. Parent says:

    What are the signs to look for ?

    • response says:

      go to the scheduled meetings for all of that information, or simply use google…

      Info below from previous article.

      All meetings begin at 5:30 pm. The first of the series will be held on Thursday, October 31 at the Ebenezer Thomas Primary School. This meeting is specifically for residents in the Sea Cow’s Bay and Duff’s Bottom areas.

      Stakeholders in the Towers, West End and Carrot Bay areas will have their meeting on Friday, November 1 at the Leonora Delville Primary School.

      The third meeting will be held on Monday, November 4, for residents of Pasea, Purcell, Johnsons Ghut, Baughers Bay and Belle Vue, at the New Testament Church of God.

      The following day — Tuesday, November 5 — will be at the Long Look Methodist Church Hall for areas of Vanterpool Estate and Fat Hog’s Bay.

      The final meeting is set for Wednesday, November 6, for residents of Lower Estate, Huntum’s Ghut, Great Mountain and Main Street areas at the Althea Scatliffe Primary School.

  3. Parent says:

    Day care centers and schools need to have clean and enough restrooms for children to use.
    The bathroom situation at the CTL building needs to be looked into urgently before we have an outbreak of something more serious than hand and mouth disease.

    Like 1
    Dislike 2
  4. venum says:

    sounds like cbrn testing to me.

  5. Here We Go says:

    Trust me Someone has to know way this nonsense Disease comes from is dem created it After Irma we expect to get some types of sickness but we were spared now after so long this Hand Foot and Mouth come after they release these stupid mosquitoes in the neighboring islands bet yah

  6. snagglepuss says:

    heavens to murgatroyd, she’s a babe

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