ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Hand, foot, and mouth disease is spreading quickly from child to child which makes taking them to school a bit difficult.
News 8 spoke with Golisano Hospital Professor of Pediatrics Neil Herendeen about what this virus is, how it affects children, and when they can go back to their routine.
What is hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD)?
HFMD refers to where the virus shows itself. It’s actually a Coxsackievirus that causes blister like rashes on the hand, feet, or mouth leading to discomfort. HFMD is generally a summer virus but this year and last there’s been outbreaks during colder months.
“We’re currently seeing a fair number of kids coming in with a rash, fever, sore throat,” said Professor Herendeen.
How does HFMD spread?
Unlike some viruses that require kissing to spread, HFMD requires less contact.
“This one can be transmitted from any kind of bodily fluid. So, at daycare centers it’s coughing, sneezing, licking, stooling, diaper changing,” said Professor Herendeen.
Is HFMD limited to kids or can adults get it too?
Unfortunately for adults, they can get HFMD too. However, they most likely had the virus as children, so their body is better at fighting off the infection with less symptoms. Professor Herendeen says that for adults the most prominent symptom is usually a sore throat.
What can parents do to prevent their kids from getting HFMD?
Professor Herendeen says that the only way to truly keep your kids away from the virus is to “put them in a bubble.” But since you can’t keep them away from everything and everyone, he says that you can do your best to employ hygienic best practices like washing your hands frequently.
When can your child go back to daycare after getting HFMD?
The answer to when your child can go back to their routine isn’t very definitive.
“When the blisters are first starting up it’s going to be two days of getting blisters and then you’re still contagious probably for the rest of that week up to five or six day. But you don’t necessarily need to wait until all the blisters are gone to get back into daycare,” said Professor Herendeen. “We don’t have an absolute mandatory time that you have to be home but at least until the fever’s gone and that most of the blisters have stopped spreading.”