Hand Foot and Mouth Disease - FOX 5 KRBK is Springfield MO source for News and Weather

Hand Foot and Mouth Disease

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SPRINGFIELD, MO - You’re planning on a vacation south of the border you might want to take some hand sanitizer. Reports are showing that an infection is going around and it’s pretty easy to catch. It’s more common in children, but adults you can get it too. You can get Hand Foot and Mouth Disease by a simple cough and sneeze.

It’s a viral infection that’s common in the summer, right in time for your summer vacations.

Tamra Lemley, a pediatric hospitalist with Mercy, says you can get it while traveling on an airplane or being in close contact and dirty environment. "The name is, pretty much, what it is. You get sores on the hands, feet, and mouth," explains Lemley. "In the mouth, it can be very painful and make kids not want to eat very much and on the hands and feet it’s usually a blister.”

The disease is extremely contagious! And with recent reports coming out of vacationers traveling to Mexico getting it, including adults, folks there are symptoms to look for. Fever, dehydration, loss of appetite, and the obvious sores.

"It’s transmitted in what we call a fecal or oral route," says Lemley. "So if something happens where it’s in contaminated food or with kiddos it’s on toys. You, basically, eat the virus and then come down with the symptoms of the infection.”

She says if the sores pop open or look wet than you’re more likely able to pass it to someone else. And even though adults can get it it’s not the full affect compared to a child with it. So before you travel, pack that extra bottle of hand sanitizer and make sure to wash your hands, constantly. Because Lemley says once you have it’s with you for around 7 days.

You can reduce the risk of getting infected with the viruses that cause HFMD by following a few simple steps:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers, and help young children do the same.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact such as kissing, hugging, and sharing cups and eating utensils with people who have HFMD.
  • Avoid close contact such as kissing, hugging, and sharing cups and eating utensils with people who have HFMD.
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.

There is no vaccine to protect against HFMD.

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