STATELINE (WIFR) – We may want to be extra careful about what our kids touch these days because doctors say they could catch Hand Foot and Mouth Disease. It’s a virus that typical in places like daycare center but it ramps up in the summer.
It’s a contagious disease we don’t hear much about but a local doctor says Hand Foot and Mouth Disease is common among young kids and could lead to much more serious viruses like Meningitis.
According to the CDC, Hand Foot and Mouth Disease spreads through touching, sneezing, or touching feces or saliva of someone who is infected. Symptoms of the virus include blisters on a child’s hands and feet and even in and around their mouth. Dr. John Perryman, a pediatrician with Rockford Health System, says he may see two to three kids a day with the virus in the summer and while HFMD usually only lasts a few days, he says it’s important to keep kids hydrated.
“The other thing is if your child is really acting different, markedly different behavior, really listless kind of out of it, that’s a sign you want to get them seen. If they’re not drinking, you know not eating I wouldn’t worry too much, but if they’re not drinking they’ve got to be looked at,” said Dr. Perryman said.
SwedishAmerican and OSF say they usually see kids with the disease around this time but so far haven’t seen a spike in cases this summer.
Dr. Perryman says there’s no vaccine for this virus. It can be treated by giving kids pain meds like Tylenol to help with the mouth sores.
According to the CDC, Hand Foot and Mouth Disease is not contracted to or from pets. Kids can get this from contaminated pool water as well. We spoke with the Rockford Park District who says they check the water at all their attractions several times a day.