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Handling Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease

April 26, 2012, 5:16 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

Handling Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease

A virus is hitting Sioux Falls area day cares hard. Area clinics are reporting that a severe form of Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease is going around.

Hand, foot, and mouth disease usually affects infants and children younger than 5-years old, but it can sometimes occur in adults.

Symptoms include fever, blister-like sores in the mouth, and a skin rash. It can be painful to swallow. And the symptoms usually last seven to 10 days.

Dr. Edward Mailloux says the form hitting KELOLAND is more severe than usual.  If you notice red bumps which are spreading quickly on your child, you should bring him or her to the doctor. The virus is spread by direct person-to-person contact, for instance when an infected person touches an object that is later touched by others.

The best way to protect yourself and your child is to wash hands frequently and sanitize areas which are touched often. But Dr. Mailloux says completely avoiding the spread of the virus is difficult.

"The problem is once a child in day care breaks out with the rash, it's too late because they've been exposing other children for days," Mailloux said.

There is no specific treatment for the virus, but Mailloux says taking over-the-counter pain medications can help, along with cream for itching. You should also make sure your child stays hydrated.

Mailloux says moisturizer or an oatmeal bath can also help.

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