Tech school takes ‘proactive response’ to disease threat
Officials at Central Westmoreland Career and Technology Center in New Stanton took measures to disinfect classrooms Wednesday after learning that two students may have contracted hand, foot and mouth disease.
School Administrative Director Brad Ellwood said a “proactive response” Wednesday involved members of the maintenance and custodial team disinfecting classrooms, lab areas, a tool room, restrooms, water fountains, hallways and exterior doors.
Officials learned Wednesday afternoon that two students enrolled in the heating and air conditioning program at the school may have contracted the disease. Ellwood said the students, from Mt. Pleasant Area School District, didn’t show symptoms of the disease and were not quarantined.
Mt. Pleasant Superintendent Tim Gabauer said the district instituted a similar proactive cleaning procedure. Information was provided to parents and was posted on the district’s website, he said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, hand, foot and mouth disease is a common illness that usually affects infants and children younger than 5 years old. Symptoms include fever, blister-like sores in the mouth and a skin rash.
An infected person may spread the viral illness through close personal contact, as well as coughing and sneezing.
Generally, a person with hand, foot and mouth disease is most contagious during the first week of illness, according to the CDC. People can sometimes be contagious for days or weeks after symptoms go away.
The CDC website recommends that a person with the illness should stay home while they are sick.