Doctor warns about Hand Foot and Mouth Disease spreading

Doctors and parents warn of hand, foot, and mouth disease
Published: Jun. 10, 2023 at 10:05 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - We’re hearing from plenty of parents whose children are dealing with what’s called Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease. It’s a common viral infection causing painful blisters exactly where you’d guess: the hands, feet, and mouth.

Dr. Karen Landers, ADPH Chief Medical Officer, says unfortunately, it’s also quite contagious. She adds that it can be spread by mucus droplets from someone who is sick.

“This fairly mild somewhat common virus occurs a lot in the spring and summer,” she explained. “Usually in children up to about 5 years of age but adults can get it.”

Stacy Dorminey is a mom living in North Alabama. Not only did her 17-month-old get the infection this week, she did too.

“You can’t touch anything,” said Dorminey. “Me doing this -- compressing my hands to each other hurts. They itch. Like right now if I separate them, they itch so bad... It’s almost paper cuts. Constant paper cuts of pain.”

She said it all started Monday with a few bumps on her baby Kalina that looked like mosquito bites. She said by Tuesday, the child started running a fever over 103 degrees. When the fever didn’t go away, Dorminey said she took Kalina to the doctor.

“All they said was it’s Hands, Feet, and Mouth and if it starts spreading, there’s nothing they can do and that was it,” she explained. “They said use Tylenol and good luck!”

Dorminey explains that she’s noticed oatmeal baths really help soothe her baby’s skin along with coconut oil.

Dr. Landers says while there isn’t too much you can do besides wait out the symptoms, the most important thing is to drink plenty of fluids.

“What I do tell parents -- that sometimes kids might not want to drink fluids but frozen popsicles or those Pedialyte pops, those kinds of cool agents that kids can take just a little bit off or they can lick those or suck on those,” said Dr. Landers. “It’s not quite as much as having to drink that fluid down.”

Dr. Landers says the disease can stick around for 7 to 10 days but she recommends visiting your pediatrician as soon as you see the red bumps on your child.

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