Did you know hand, foot and mouth disease is most common in the summer and early fall? Many people confuse it with chicken pox, but a doctor can usually diagonose it by hearing the symptoms and looking at the sores and blisters. Be aware of the following when it comes to hand, foot and mouth disease:
- It’s a virus that can be contagious. The illness can be spread through blister and throat secretions, so it is important to be careful around an infected person.
- You can catch the virus through contact with contaminated objects like toys, doorknobs, toilet handles and even swimming pool water, so practice good hygiene and hand washing.
- It’s most commom among infants and children under age 5. Although adults can get the virus, most have immunity from previous exposure.
- Symtoms tend to appear 4-9 days after infection.
- Mild fever is common. Beginning symptoms include fever above 101 F, lack of appetite and sore throat.
- Painful mouth sores called herpangina, typically red and blistering, appear within a few days. These sores may make drinking difficult so be sure to keep a sick child hydrated.
- A skin rash also develops, with similar red, blistering spots — either raised or flat. This rash tends to appear on hands and feet, but can also show up on other body parts like knees and elbows. It may be painful, but usually does not itch.
- There is no specific treatment, but doctors can recommend treatment for the pain and fever (and lots of hydration).
- Most patients recover in about a week, without treatment.
- In some cases, there are no symptoms, so you or your other children may be infected and not even realize it.
If you have any questions about hand, foot and mouth Disease, you can always reach a board certified doctor 24/7 by using LiveHealth Online at www.livehealthonline.com or download our app at Google Play or the App Store.