What you need to know about hand, foot and mouth disease
It’s no secret especially to parents or caregivers of young children that this time of year is prime time for Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease also known as HFMD. It’s a common illness that affects infants and children typically under the age of five.
Hand, foot, and mouth disease is caused by viruses that belong to the Enterovirus genus (group). This group of viruses includes polioviruses, coxsackieviruses, echoviruses, and enteroviruses. Not to be confused with the Enterovirus D-68 that has been in the news recently.
“HFMD is basically a runny nose with painful sores in the mouth and frequently on the hands and feet. However, you can have the rash anywhere or even just in the mouth. It has a characteristic look and these sores are painful, says Advocate Medical Group pediatrician Aaron Traeger, MD in Bloomington IL. “
- Good hand-washing habits to reduce the chances of spreading these viruses. Especially, parents and other caregivers who change baby diapers should wash their hands frequently.
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces and soiled items, including toys. * Avoiding close contact such as kissing, hugging or sharing eating utensils or cups with people with HFMD.
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