SCHOOLS have been issued with information packs after the outbreak of a mild viral illness called hand, foot and mouth.

The Health Protection Unit in Sheffield say its been around South Yorkshire since September. Hand, foot and mouth disease is a mild illness caused by a virus that often occurs in epidemics. It is not related in any way to “Foot and Mouth” disease of animals.

The usual symptoms are a sore throat and a rash, ulcers in the mouth and blisters on the hands and feet.

A spokesman for NHS Barnsley said it was important to keep up good hygiene to avoid the spread of the illness. He added: "Children should only be excluded from schools if they’re unwell. To help prevent it maintain good hand hygiene as is spread through coughs and sneezes."

The information follows a request from a user on our Facebook page, who requested further information after 30 children at one school were apparently struck with the illness.