The Waitsburg school district has sent out two emails letting parents know that hand-foot-mouth disease has been reported in the school and students will want to be sure they are washing their hands well and often. Head lice is also a possibility according to school officials.

Hand-foot-mouth disease is highly contagious, but the spread of infection can be reduced by practicing good hygiene. There is no specific treatment, though doctors advise to look for the symptoms of fever, sore throat, painful red blister-like lesions on the tongue, gums and inside the cheeks. In some cases a red, itchless, but blistering rash will break out on the palms, soles of the feet and sometimes the buttocks.

A school nurse said only one confirmed case has been reported so far.

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is usually a minor illness causing only a few days of fever and relatively mild symptoms.

Some parents are also concerned head lice is making the rounds and they wonder why that has not been addressed. The school nurse says, as of now, head lice cases are only rumors.

Since 2010, the updated guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend students with head lice no longer be sent home to avoid missing class, to shield their privacy and to protect them from embarrassment. School officials are encouraged to allow the children to finish the school day, get treatment and return to class without missing any time the next day.