Experts Beg Parents to Learn the Signs of Hands Foot and Mouth Disease Because It’s On the Rise!

September 7, 2017
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Experts Beg Parents to Learn the Signs of Hands Foot and Mouth Disease Because It’s On the Rise!

I’ll never forget when my daughter, who was my only child at the time, came down with hand, foot and mouth disease. It was summer and I originally thought she was having a reaction to the sunscreen I had used on her. After taking her to the pediatrician I was informed that she had hand foot and mouth disease, which sounds so much scarier than it really is!

Now a local health department in Columbus, Georgia, is warning parents that Hand, Foot and Mouth disease is in their area and can quickly spread.

It’s highly contagious, and it’s on the rise…

What Is It?

Hand, foot and mouth disease is one of those things your kids can get when they’re smaller that sounds absolutely terrifying, because parents don’t have enough to worry about.

In reality it’s a just a viral illness that can affect people of all ages, but children under 5, especially infants, seem the be the most afflicted.


The West Central Health District in Columbus began warning parents on Monday that there has been some reports of hand, foot and mouth, and with the virus being so contagious it’s hoping that making parents aware will help to prevent the spread.

“The illness is typically mild, and nearly all people recover in 7 to 10 days without medical treatment. HFMD is caused by several different viruses and it’s possible that people can get the disease again. In rare cases, further complications can occur,” the public notice said.

What to Look For

Like most viruses, hand, foot and mouth disease isn’t pleasant for your child. Fever, loss of appetite, sore throat, and general not feeling wellness are all symptoms of the virus.

However, the most telling is the sores that tend to develop on the hands, feet and in the mouth, which give the virus it’s name, that cause the most discomfort.

Those aren’t the only places the sores can develop, though. Red spots can be seen sometimes on the knees, elbows, backside or genitals as well. My daughter developed her rash on the inside of her arms first.

How it Spreads

Unfortunately, hand, foot and mouth disease is highly contagious, as all you may have already discovered.

It can be spread if someone who has it sneezes on you or if you make close contact with someone who has it, either through kissing or hugging or sharing of drinks.

It can also be spread through bodily fluids, such as if you touch the stool (when changing a diaper) of someone who has it or even by touching a doorknob or toy that someone who has the virus has also touched.

How to Prevent It

While there’s no actual cure for hand, foot and mouth disease because it’s a virus, there are some good practices you can follow to help try and prevent you and your child from contracting it.

Frequent hand washing for both you and your children is important, as avoiding close contact with anyone who has HFMD.

It’s also a good idea to get those Lysol or Clorox wipes out and disinfect things like doorknobs and wash your child’s toys frequently as well.

How Long Will it Last?

The health department states that while you’re the most contagious during the first week of the illness, you can actually be contagious for weeks after symptoms go away.

While HFMD is no fun for everyone, frequent hand washing and paying extra attention to disinfecting and not sharing cups should hopefully help prevent your child from getting it.

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