SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Parents are on guard after the Natomas Unified School District sent home a warning of an outbreak of hand, foot, and mouth disease.

The CDC lists the disease as a common illness that can be painful for infants and small children. The outbreak has sparked a district-wide alert.

Mom Jackie Garrett struggles every day keeping her 9-year-old boy clean.

“Getting him to wash his hands…he comes home from school and it looks like he’s rolled in the mud,” said Garrett.

Of course Caleb thinks he has more important things to worry about right now like Santa.

“I’ve been good every day,” he said.

Santa may need to send soap and mom will be watching Caleb’s washing more after she received a warning notice about the disease. As many as 12 kids were diagnosed with it in two weeks.

“It does sound icky…sounds bad,” said Garrett.

The CDC says painful sores usually develop in the mouth, and a skin rash develops over several days usually on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet.

“They seemed to handle it pretty well. I mean, they called everyone. I got a phone call, I got an email and I got a notice that came home,” said mom Diane Curtis.

“It’s relatively common,” said Jim Sanders, a Natomas Unified School Department spokesperson.

Sanders calls the diagnosis relatively common. But with so many students diagnosed at once, the response is massive.

“Yes, in fact 10,000 notices went out twice. We sent it out by email to every house and we sent it home with kids,” said Sanders.

“Washing hands more frequently, I guess, needs to happen,” said Garrett.

Kids with the disease are asked to stay at home until they’re cured.

District officials say the classrooms have all been sanitized.


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