Experts Warn Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease Is Back… Parents Caught by Surprise


Pediatricians are urging parents to be on the lookout for a common childhood illness that has been on the rise in the past few weeks.

Hand, foot and mouth disease, a highly contagious disease, appears to be making a comeback, so doctors have been warning everyone to watch out for symptoms of the painful virus, KFDA reported.

The condition typically affects children under the age of 5, but recently it has been reported at colleges.

Pediatrician Amanda Griffin said she wasn’t surprised that the virus was showing up at colleges, because it is so contagious.

“Once the virus gets in any setting it can get passed around and most commonly that would be in a day care setting because younger children typically are the ones we think about getting this,” Griffin told KFDA. “But adults can get it themselves, so there has (sic) been outbreaks on college campuses.”

Hand, foot and mouth disease can spread through physical contact or from surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Once the individual is exposed, it can take three to six days for any symptoms of the virus symptoms to appear.

Symptoms of the virus are similar to the common cold, and can include fever, sore throat and a runny nose. However, small blisters begin to appear on the palms of the hands, on the feet or inside the mouth.

“Luckily, most people recover within a week without problems besides some discomfort/pain in the mouth,” Dr. Jennifer Shu, an Atlanta pediatrician, told WREG. She adding that the disease is “most contagious before the rash appears, so it can be difficult to avoid catching it.”

The illness is treated with pain medications such as ibuprofen and by keeping the patient hydrated.

The Centers for Disease Control recommend washing hands frequently, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces used often and avoiding contact with people who are known to have the condition.

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H/T The Hearty Soul