Cases of hand, foot and mouth disease in the Ionia school district prompt officials to advise parents and their children: please wash your hands.

In a message distributed Tuesday, Oct. 4, officials say precautions are being taken to make sure objects and surfaces are cleaned. The disease is highly-contagious; commonly recognized by symptoms including rashes on the hands and feet, plus fever, sore throat and sores in the mouth.

The disease can be spread from one infected person to another by close personal contact, coughing, sneezing and by coming in contact with contaminated objects.

There is no specific treatment for hand, foot and mouth disease other than to let the disease run its course and practice good hygiene.

Families are advised to contact their family doctor for instructions.