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Colorado high school athletes diagnosed with hand, foot and mouth disease

It's not clear what schools the students attend or exactly how many cases have been reported.

COLORADO, USA — Several students on high school sports teams in Adams, Arapahoe and/or Douglas Counties have been diagnosed with hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD), according to a notice from the Tri-County Health Department. 

The notice was sent to all of the schools in those counties. 

It's not clear where the students who have been diagnosed attended or exactly how many cases of the illness have been reported. 

HFMD is caused by a virus, which can cause fever, a rash with blisters, sore throat, and mouth sores.

It most commonly affects children under the age of five, according to the Tri-County Health Department, but older kids and adults can also be infected. 

There is no specific treatment for the disease.

The Tri-County Health Department recommends over-the-counter medications to relieve pain and fever and mouthwashes/sprays to numb mouth pain.

The virus can be carried without the infected person showing any symptoms and can last for one to three weeks, so the department said it is difficult to prevent spreading HFMD entirely. 

To help, they recommend the following:

  • Wash your hands often especially after using the bathroom, touching eyes, nose or mouth.
  • If you’re not close to a hand sink, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers. 
  • Cover your mouth when sneezing and cough with your arm and not your hands.
  • Do not share water bottles, utensils, other drinks, or food.  
  • Sanitize commonly touched surfaces 
  • Sanitize sports equipment and weight rooms often. 
  • Sanitize surfaces in locker rooms after every game. 
  • Wash mouth guards and sports clothing after every use.

The Tri-County Health Department said that if students are showing any symptoms parents should contact both their child's doctor and their child's school. 

Students should not come to school or play sports if the blisters are weeping or if they have mouth sores and are drooling; otherwise, the department said exclusion is not necessary.

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