Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease hits Ohio

| October 18, 2018

COSHOCTON – Ohio is seeing an increase in cases of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD) in schools across the state. HFMD is a common viral infection that most often causes outbreaks in the summer and fall.

What are the symptoms of HFMD?

This illness generally is mild. Symptoms include tiny blisters in the mouth and on the fingers, palms of hands, buttocks, and soles of the feet. Common cold signs and symptoms with fever, sore throat, runny nose, and cough may also be present. The most upsetting symptom are the blisters in the mouth, which make it hard for the child to eat or drink. Nearly all patients recover without medical treatment in seven to 10 days.

How is HFMD spread?

The virus is spread through coughing and sneezing, through the fluid from blisters on the hands and feet, or through contact with the infected person’s stool (feces). Children with HFMD generally do not need to be excluded from school or childcare unless the child is running a fever, has open blisters, drooling too much or is very uncomfortable and is not able to do normal school or childcare activities. HFMD is most able to be spread during the first week when mouth sores are present. The virus may be passed in the stool for several weeks, even after symptoms are gone.

How is HFMD diagnosed and treated?

A doctor can identify HFMD by the symptoms and the look and location of the blisters. There is no specific treatment. Symptoms may be treated to provide relief from fever or pain from the mouth blisters.

How do you control the spread?

  • Make sure adults and children wash hands often and completely with warm water and soap.
  • After using the bathroom, wash hands well with warm water and soap.
  • After changing a diaper, wash both your hands and the baby’s hands with warm water and soap.
  • Teach children to cover their noses and mouths with a tissue or their arm when coughing or sneezing.
  • When using a tissue, wash hands well afterwards. Do not reuse tissues.

How do I get more information?

For more information about Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease, contact your doctor or the Coshocton County Health Department at 740-622-1426 or visit http://www.cdc.gov/hand-foot-mouth/.

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