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Editor’s Note: This edition of the Hometown Health Alert originally was published in May of 2018. We are resharing it in August, 2018 due to recent breakouts of confirmed cases of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease.
What is it?
Hand, foot, and mouth disease is a common viral illness that usually affects infants and children younger than 5 years old. However, it can sometimes occur in older children and adults.
What to look for?
It usually starts with a fever, reduced appetite, sore throat, and a feeling of being unwell (malaise). One or two days after the fever starts, painful sores can develop in the mouth (herpangina). The mouth sores begin, often in the back of the mouth, as small red spots that blister and can become ulcers. A skin rash with red spots, and sometimes with blisters, may also develop over one or two days on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet; it may also appear on the knees, elbows, buttocks or genital area.
How to treat or prevent it?
There is no specific treatment for hand, foot, and mouth disease. However, you can do some things to relieve symptoms, such as
– Take over-the-counter medications to relieve pain and fever (Caution: Aspirin should not be given to children.)
– Use mouthwashes or sprays that numb mouth pain
If you are concerned about your symptoms contact or visit Twin Rivers Urgent Care. We can help treat you!
There is no vaccine to protect against the viruses that cause hand, foot, and mouth disease.
You can lower your risk of being infected by doing the following:
– Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after changing diapers and using the toilet.
– Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and soiled items, including toys.
– Avoid close contact such as kissing, hugging, or sharing eating utensils or cups with people with hand, foot, and mouth disease.
If a person has mouth sores, it might be painful to swallow. However, it is important for people with hand, foot, and mouth disease to drink enough liquids to prevent dehydration (loss of body fluids). If a person cannot swallow enough liquids, they may need to receive them through an IV in their vein.
For even more information, you can visit https://www.cdc.gov/hand-foot-mouth/about/index.html