Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease: A Local Outbreak

There has been an outbreak of the Hand-Foot-and-Mouth disease in the Elgin Public School District. The disease is a mild, but contagious viral infection commonly found in young children, and a rarity in older teens and adults.

The disease is characterized by sores in the mouth and a rash on the hands and feet. The disease is most commonly caused by a coxsackievirus. The coxsackievirus is very contagious, it can be passed around from person to person on unwashed hands and on surfaces contaminated by feces. The virus can also be transmitted in the air when someone sneezes or coughs. There is no specific treatment for the Hand-Foot-and-Mouth disease just frequent handwashing and the avoidance of infected people.

Symptoms of Hand-Foot-and-Mouth may include the following:
Sore throat
Malaise, or the feeling of being unwell.
Painful, red, blister-like lesions on the tongue, gums, and inside of the cheeks.
A red rash, without itching that sometimes includes blistering, on the palms, soles, and     at times, the buttocks.
Irritability in infants and toddlers.
Loss of appetite.
The incubation period for the symptoms to manifest usually take from three to six days. The first sign of the disease is a fever, sore throat, and at time loss of appetite and malaise.
After the initial fever begins, sores may start to appear in the front of the mouth and throat; in the following days of the sores, a rash may appear on the hands, feet, and buttocks.

This disease is relatively minor, showing only a few days of mild symptoms and signs and is usually prescribed pain medications to relieve some of the symptoms. Although if symptoms progress or get to the point where the affected person isn’t able to drink fluids comfortably, then contact your doctor immediately.

Information credit: Mayo Clinic: Hand-foot-and-mouth disease.
Picture credit: Drugs.com