PSA: Hand Foot And Mouth Disease Is Spreading Like Wildfire In Kids Under 5

Do you remember Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease? It is a highly contagious viral infection that mainly infects young children. It causes red sores in the mouth, hands, and feet, just as the name suggests.

This year has seen a very bad outbreak. Children under the age of 5 are especially at risk. Hospitals around the country are seeing lots of cases and the bad thing is that it spreads very quickly and easily.

It is spreading especially quickly in Virginia right now. Kids that attend daycare or pre-schools are especially at risk.

Fevers can last up to five days and then kids may experience a sore throat and blisters in their mouth, hands, and feet. When they get blisters in their mouth, they may resist eating and drinking. This could lead to dehydration which is also very serious in children. Especially in the summer months when temperatures are on the rise.

Children mostly catch this disease but adults can also get sick. Unfortunately, there is no treatment because it is a virus. If your children have been exposed to Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease, unfortunately, you have to just let it runs its course and monitor them closely.

You also need to keep your sick child away from others because of how highly contagious this disease is. Luckily, it is generally not that serious and does not hold a risk of many complications except dehydration.

It has been especially bad in Virginia. Dr. Kevin Connelly with the Chippenham Hospital Pediatric ER told News 12:

“This year has been one of those bad outbreaks. “We are Seeing lots of kids with hand foot and mouth disease.”

He sees at least 5 to 10 cases of Hand, Food, and Mouth disease a night currently in the ER!

The Center for Disease Control has weighed in on this spreading outbreak…

“People with HFMD are most contagious during the first week of their illness. However, they may sometimes remain contagious for weeks after symptoms go away. Some people, especially adults, may not develop any symptoms, but they can still spread the viruses to others. The viruses that cause HFMD can be found in an infected person’s:

Nose and throat secretions (such as saliva, sputum, or nasal mucus)

HFMD spreads from an infected person to others from:

Close contact, such as kissing, hugging, or sharing cups and eating utensils

Coughing and sneezing

Contact with poop, for example when changing a diaper

Contact with blister fluid

Touching objects or surfaces that have the virus on them

This is why you should always try to maintain good hygiene, like washing hands often with soap and water, to reduce your chance of getting and spreading HFMD.

You Can Only Treat Symptoms of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

There is no specific treatment for HFMD. Fever and pain can be managed with over-the-counter fever reducers and pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. It is important for people with HFMD to drink enough fluids to prevent loss of body fluids or dehydration

Take Steps to Lessen Your Chances of Getting Sick

You can reduce the risk of getting infected with the viruses that cause HFMD by following a few simple steps:

Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers, and help young children do the same.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact such as kissing, hugging, and sharing cups and eating utensils with people who have HFMD.

Avoid close contact such as kissing, hugging, and sharing cups and eating utensils with people who have HFMD.

Disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.

There is no vaccine to protect against HFMD.”