The most harrowing aspect of being a parent is protecting your child from the several infectious diseases plaguing children all year through. Hand foot and mouth disease especially along with several other illnesses could well be transferred to healthy children through other sick children at school. Fortunately, routine vaccinations and inoculations do much to prevent disease especially at this particular time of the year.
Vaccines against Mumps measles and rubella are controlled by the mandatory MMR. Every parent should be aware of such things that would save a child from contracting such dreaded diseases that are widespread every year. Today medical technology has also brought out flu shots for combating the season’s most common and contagious illness. Most children to have grown accustomed to such vaccinations and are ok with it.
1 HFMD is now raging in the US
However as humanity evolves with modern lifestyles, disease too evolves and some even develop immunity such as the hand-foot-mouth disease which is proving extremely resistant and which affects 20,000 Americans on an annual basis.
Experts at the Georgia West Central health District have issued a warning that this year could be the dreaded diseases worst outbreak and parents should be careful. What is surprising is the fact that 2 months ago it was reported that even college students in Florida were contracting the disease which is usually prevalent among children.
2 What is Hand foot and mouth disease?
Hand foot and mouth disease is caused by the Coxsackie virus which is contagious and transmitted through coughing and sneezing. It is also known as Children usually contract even by coming into contact with blister fluid from other children. The virus spreads a lot in playpens and daycares. However, the outbreak at Florida dormitories is now proof that adults can contract it too.
HFMD affects thousands of children year after year. It is particular contagious because of its manner of transmission through saliva, mucous and bodily fluid. The reason for it spreading in colleges is due to the sharing of food and drink among college kids who aren’t always in the best of health. Even aged people are prone to the disease because of weakened immune systems. Those living in communities and in Nursing homes are particularly vulnerable.
3 The symptoms of the virus
The most common symptoms of the disease which aren’t life-threatening are flu-like symptoms, fever, sore throat and red itchy rash-like spots on the mouth, groin, hands, feet and mouth. The virus usually reaches a peak and clears up within a week or two at the most.
Whenever you notice symptoms such as these it is advisable to see a doctor immediately. Family members with HFMD should be kept confined at home to prevent the spread of the virus. Although the disease is like any other non-fatal virus, still it could result in severe brain infections such as meningitis and encephalitis in those with weakened immunity. Some severe cases have resulted in children being afflicted for more than two weeks in which case, they could even lose their fingers or toes. But that is in extreme situations.
4 Far worse outbreaks of the disease has been reported this year
According to the CDC an HFMD isn’t very common in the United States, however, this year has been particularly bad with outbreaks reported in Georgia, Florida and the south-eastern US. This could then spread to other regions of the country.
Should you be living in an area that has reports of HFMD, be extra cautious and vigilant about the young ones in your family. Practice good hygiene and take extra precautions. All family members should be made to wash their hands and feet especially before eating. Even if there is a slight suspicion of kids having Hand foot and mouth disease, consult a doctor.
5 How to recognize the signs of Hand foot and mouth disease
Although a brief description of the symptoms have been mentioned, hand, foot and mouth disease here are the major signs and symptoms of the disease. They can be all or some of these mentioned below.
Lesions on the tongue, gum and inner cheeks
Non-itchy rash with or without blistering on the buttocks, soles and palms
Irritability especially in infants
Lack of appetite
6 What is the usual period of the disease to display symptoms?
From infection to the time when symptoms and signs become present is usually 3 to 6 days. The first sign is of course fever. This may be followed by loss in appetite, malaise and sore throat. It could very much flu-like symptoms. Two days after the fever begins, a rash may erupt on the buttocks. You may also find sores in the mouth too or even the throat.
7 What sores in the back of the throat mean in HFAMD
If sores develop at the back of the mouth or throat, your child could be suffering from a viral infection called herpangina. This could also cause high temperature and even seizure. At the first signs of sores, consult a doctor immediately. One thing you need to remember is that sores in such cases is a rare condition.
8 When you should consult doctor
Hand foot and mouth disease is considered a minor illness which could sometimes graduate to severe conditions. As mentioned in case of sores and a fever lasting more than a couple of days, you should consult your doctor immediately. Make sure you make your child drink as many fluids as possible in this period.
9 Plenty of rest and fluids
The best possible treatment for hand foot and mouth disease is plenty of bread rest. Give the patient plenty of healthy fluids. Coke or carbonated beverages do not constitute a healthy fluid. Herbal teas, fresh fruit juices and electrolyte solutions are the best remedy for such viral diseases.
10 What to avoid in HFAMD and prevention
You need to make a child as comfortable as possible. Do not give the patient hard food as sores in the mouth could make it painful to swallow. Take a look at the video for additional information. Share this article to help prevent the spread of HFMD further. By taking precautions, you can decrease or eliminate the risk of HFAMD.
Wash your hands frequently after changing diapers and before preparing food
Use hand wipes and disinfecting gels at home
Disinfect your house with chlorine bleach and water
Keep toys and baby’s pacifiers clean at all times
Teach your children good hygiene habits
Remember hand, foot and mouth disease is extremely contagious. Isolate patients from the rest of the family. Do not let them attend school and be in contact with other children or adults in the family till the sores and rash are gone. In case you too are infected stay home.