Bosco: Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease Awareness

by Jake Bailey and Jude Wolfe

“It was probably one of the worst I’ve ever had, mostly because of the almost complete disablement and the constant feeling of being uncomfortable as well as the duration of the virus. The feeling of being useless really begins to weigh on you, and it is extremely annoying to deal with.”

At the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year at St John Bosco High School, many students arrived at school happy and healthy, primed and ready to enjoy another exciting year of school. However, a dangerous, menacing, and wildly contagious disease swept over some of the members of the Bosco community. Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease is a very intense and unique disease, most commonly found in children, with symptoms including sores in the mouth and vicious rashes on the hands and feet.

“The bumps came on both my arms and on the bottom of my feet, these bumps were painful to the touch and without ibuprofen it was pretty difficult to even move around the house,” said a Bosco faculty member who wished to remain nameless like the rest of the interviewees.

It is fairly easy to contract this disease as it is commonly found in small children and can be transferred to anyone through just a simple touch, making it extremely hard to prevent and stop from spreading.

“I had family staying with us for the summer because they were having house renovations done and they had two small children. Somewhere at either the park or the beach, one of the three children [including my daughter] obtained the disease and brought it home. I must’ve gotten it through touch,” said another Bosco faculty member.

Once infected, the disease has no treatment, and the only means of curing it are to wait it out and try to ease the pain with topical ointments and pain killers. This is disabling and takes a week to ten days to pass.

“I couldn’t even [expletive] walk or anything and couldn’t hold or squeeze anything. It was like a week and a half to almost 2 weeks over Christmas break so I couldn’t go out with friends and I couldn’t touch anything,” said a Bosco student.

This disease is particularly unique in the case of how extremely rapidly it can spread. Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease is capable of spreading like wildfire, and because of the lack of any real treatment, victims are forced to simply wait it out.

“[You must] repeatedly wash your hands and carry out constant healthy hygiene acts. Once the carrier is aware of the disease, avoid human contact at all costs and remain in quarantine for 7-10 days,” said head Bosco Athletic Trainer Ms. Melody Mohebbi.

Sometimes, the person that has the disease won’t take notice or see signs of contraction for 2-3 days, so the best way to avoid it is by practicing healthy hygiene. For those with the disease, it spreads fast, so stay away from others at all costs.

For example, if a player on a football team contracts the virus, multiple players could potentially obtain it within a matter of days if not kept away. In addition, when compared to other illnesses, many people have described this virus as one of the worst they have ever encountered.

“It was probably one of the worst I’ve ever had, mostly because of the almost complete disablement and the constant feeling of being uncomfortable as well as the duration of the virus. The feeling of being useless really begins to weigh on you, and it is extremely annoying to deal with,” said a Bosco faculty member.

On top of the complete physical disablement, there is another aspect of the disease that carries a heavy burden. 

“It also affected my appetite a lot, because it was hard to eat with sores in and around my mouth. Also with a sore throat and the severe pain that came with, it was very hard to sleep at night,” said a Bosco student. 

Due to the disease’s highly contagious traits, it’s is best to always wash your hands and often sanitize, especially in such a large community like you encounter everyday at St. John Bosco. One can greatly help prevent this virus by instilling this value within the youth, as they’re the most frequently infected. It never hurts to be too clean. 

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