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Students diagnosed with hand, foot and mouth disease


Parents of Tse’hootsooi’ Primary Learning Center students have been told a number of pupils have been infected with hand, foot and mouth disease.

The outbreak, affecting mostly the pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students, prompted the Window Rock Unified School District officials to close the school for the remainder of the week.

According to the Maya Clinic, the disease, or HFM, is a minor illness that is common in young children. Symptoms include a loss of appetite, fever, sore throat, painful sores in the mouth, tongue, gums and inside of the cheeks.

Rash on the child’s feet and hands are also signs they may have been infected with the disease. A child who has recovered from the disease can still infect others, the Mayo Clinic added.

“We have been notified of a number of students that have a diagnosis of hand, foot and mouth disease by a health professional and the number continue to increase in pre-k and kindergarten,” the school’s district’s page stated on Monday. “Due to this information the school will be taking extensive precaution measure and will be implementing a district wide cleansing and disinfecting plan.”

The school’s web page stated a number of school activities, like the Family/Diné Literacy Night, 2nd and 3rd grade award assembly, the showing of Toy Story 4, and Diné Cultures event were canceled or postponed.

Some parents chimed on the school district’s social media page.

“Thank you for the information, my son in pre-k caught this on Monday and I had you pick him up,” wrote one parent. “Will I still need the medical clearance from the doctor before he returns? As his teacher indicated.”

The school district responded, “Please do so.”

The school district said that according to the policy students “suffering from a communicable disease shall be excluded from school to protect the student’s own welfare and also to protect other students from illness.”

They added they were closely working with Tsehootsooi Medical Center.

“If your child is showing symptoms, please seek medical attention,” they wrote.

Ganado Unified School District was also infected with the disease, but school officials did not confirm if students who were infected with HFM were back at school.

About The Author

Donovan Quintero

"Dii, Diné bi Naaltsoos wolyéhíígíí, ninaaltsoos át'é. Nihi cheii dóó nihi másání ádaaní: Nihi Diné Bizaad bił ninhi't'eelyá áádóó t'áá háadida nihizaad nihił ch'aawóle'lágo. Nihi bee haz'áanii at'é, nihisin at'é, nihi hózhǫ́ǫ́jí at'é, nihi 'ach'ą́ą́h naagééh at'é. Dilkǫǫho saad bee yájíłti', k'ídahoneezláo saad bee yájíłti', ą́ą́ chánahgo saad bee yájíłti', diits'a'go saad bee yájíłti', nabik'íyájíłti' baa yájíłti', bich'į' yájíłti', hach'į' yándaałti', diné k'ehgo bik'izhdiitįįh. This is the belief I do my best to follow when I am writing Diné-related stories and photographing our events, games and news. Ahxéhee', shik'éí dóó shidine'é." - Donovan Quintero is an award-winning Diné journalist, who is based in Window Rock, Arizona. He can be contacted at dq@navajotimes.com.


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