Madison-Grant schools closed Friday after students test positive for hand, foot, and mouth disease

MADISON COUNTY, Ind. -- All three schools in the Madison-Grant United School Corporation are closed on Friday after students were diagnosed with hand, foot, and mouth disease. 

Superintendent Dr. Scott Deetz says at least two students at Summitville Elementary School were diagnosed with the disease.

Because some families rely on their older high school kids to watch the younger kids when classes are canceled, the district decided to close all three schools Friday, so they can sanitize each classroom.

"Our entire custodial staff will hit each one of our schools tomorrow disinfecting each room," said Dr. Deetz. "Our intent is - lets try to reduce the spread as much as possible."

All schools in the Madison-Grant United School Corporation will have an E-Learning day Friday. 

Monday was previously scheduled to be a parent-teacher conference day so students will not return to class until Tuesday.

Hand, foot, and mouth disease is highly contagious and can be spread by coming in contact with an area someone coughed or sneezed on. It usually infects children younger than five, but it can occur in older children and adults. 

According to the CDC the disease usually starts with the following symptoms:

  • A fever
  • Reduced appetite
  • Sore throat
  • A feeling of being unwell

After the first couple of days, painful sores will develop in your child's mouth, on the palms of their hand and the soles of their feet. Those sores can blister and may be very painful. \

You can lower your risk of being infected by doing the following:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after changing diapers and using the toilet. Visit CDC’s Clean Hands Save Lives! for more information
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and soiled items, including toys
  • Avoid close contact such as kissing, hugging, or sharing eating utensils or cups with people with hand, foot, and mouth disease

Several parents reached out to RTV6 with concerns over rumors of bedbugs at the schools as well. We asked Dr. Deetz about those rumors and he said they did have an incident at Park Elementary School where they found a single bed bug on the backpack of a student, but that was the only one they found. 

"We also searched in the backpacks of the siblings of that child as well and found no evidence whatsoever," said Dr. Deetz. 

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