According to recent reports hand, foot and mouth disease appears to be on an upswing and spreading across several states.
Doctors are seeing outbreaks of the disease in Indiana, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. It seems that not only is the disease affecting children, but adults as well. Two Major League Baseball players in New York City have been reported to have been diagnosed as well.
Doctors have stated that they were getting reports of a lot of hand, foot and mouth disease all summer long, but in recent weeks there has been a sudden increase.
Hand, foot and mouth disease is caused by a virus and is named for the small red sores or rashes it causes usually in the mouth and on the hands and feet. Although it is a common illness for those under five years old, older children and adults are not necessarily immune from it.
Dr. Elizabeth Mack states symptoms can arrive up to several days after initial infection. The symptoms include a fever, followed by a sore throat and runny nose, and then the appearance of the rash. The rash will usually contain blisters and can present on the inside of the mouth, on the palms, the soles of the feet, and in some cases the buttocks.
Most often linked to poor hygiene in children, hand, foot and mouth disease is spread one of several ways: kissing, hugging, and the sharing of food or drinks. The disease has been seen to also be transmitted through coughing, sneezing, or contact with the germs from an infected child’s diaper.
There is no medicine or drug to combat the disease. The primary course of treatment is adequate hydration, acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain and a lot of TLC.
Reducing the risk of contracting the disease is of utmost concern and this is achieved through thorough hand washing. Although the illness typically lasts between seven and ten days, there are other complications that may present including viral meningitis and/or a polio-like paralysis.