A medical health officer with the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) said that they are noticing an uptick in the number of people with hand foot and mouth disease (HFMD).

The SHA does not track case numbers for the disease. But the illness, which is most common in children, does seem to be more prevalent in daycares.

"We have noticed an increase in the number of HFMD in the [southeast] area of the province from daycares and Public Health is working with the management of the facilities to mitigate the impact of HFMD in these settings," said Dr. Stanley Enebeli, in a written response.

The SHA's website describes HFMD as "an illness that causes sores or blisters in or on the mouth and on the hands, feet, and sometimes the buttocks and legs."

The illness doesn't typically last more than a week, but can be painful, according to the SHA. It can occur in adults, despite being most common in children. It can occur year-round, but is most common in the summer and fall.

Enebeli wrote that daycare owners and the public can use the following precautions for protection:

  • Continue to exclude ill children from daycare
  • Fever free for 48hours without the use of medication, and for child return to daycare when scabs have fallen off and new skin can be seen.
  • Practise appropriate hand washing at daycare
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and shared items, including toys and door knobs
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth

He added that most people can be treated at home, but parents and guardians can seek medical attention if symptoms become severe.