PORT ANGELES – The Port Angeles School District is reporting an outbreak of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (or HFMD) among its staff and students.

HFMD is a wrap-around term for a series of contagious viruses common in kids under 5, but older kids and adults can get it, too. It usually lasts 7-10 days, and symptoms include fever, sore throat, sores, rashes and blisters. It can be spread by touching, sharing utensils and coughing or sneezing.

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease is not to be mistaken for Hoof and Mouth Disease, which is something farm animals get. The CDC says humans can’t get the animal disease, and animals can’t get the human disease.

School officials are reminding parents and students that this is a very contagious disease, and they’re urging everyone at school to maintain diligent hand washing.

We’re told students and teachers are also cleaning common areas and shared supplies in classrooms with cleaners and wipes.

Early recognition of symptoms and staying home if they have an active fever or oozing sores is vital to minimizing the spread of HFMD.