BAKERSFIELD - Six children have come down with Hand, Foot and Mouth disease causing a Bakersfield school to close down and clean up.
"When we have evidence of a communicable or highly communicable disease we act if it is the whole center,” said Patsy Brown, an education administrator who oversees The Pete H. Parra Center and Head Start School on Feliz Drive in east Bakersfield .
It was closed Wednesday as parents received a notice telling them the closure was due to an outbreak of Hand, Foot and Mouth disease that sickened six children.
"It usually shows up on the palms and soles first and then frequently will involve the inside of the mouth with little ulcers,” said Dr. Kaye Sykes, local pediatrician.
The virus usually runs its course within ten days and children must be cleared by a doctor before returning to school or daycare.
"But, there is really nothing to treat,” Dr. Sykes said. “You leave them alone. You leave them at the house. The standard is you keep them out of school for a week."
However in July 2012, more than 50 children in Cambodia died from a severe strain of the disease.
Dr. Sykes has practiced pediatrics in Bakersfield for more than 20 years and said there is little to worry about here.
"It's a viral illness,” Dr. Sykes said. “Huge percentage of the time (it) causes nothing else and it really does not make them feel that bad unless they have tender ulcers in their mouth."
Hand, Foot and Mouth disease is different from Hoof and Mouth disease which is a viral disease in farm animals and cannot be transmitted to humans.
The school is due to reopen Monday.