(WYTV) — Hand, foot and mouth disease: a virus causes it, and it’s a contagious childhood illness. The virus is very easy to spread.
It’s typically an illness of young children, usually under 5, but you can get infected with it at any age.
“Hand, foot and mouth is spread through respiratory droplets. It can also be spread through the stool of an infected person, that’s why hand washing is really important,” said Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, Pediatric Infectious Diseases specialist at Mayo Clinic. “It can also be spread through fomites—touching something that an infected person has touched before. For that reason, we do see that it spreads pretty easily, especially in places where there’s a lot of young children.”
The illness is usually mild but uncomfortable, with lesions at the back of the throat. There are no specific treatments, but you can treat the pain with ibuprofen or acetaminophen, keep your child hydrated, and popsicles can help a sore throat.
Keep your pediatrician updated, especially if your child’s signs or symptoms worsen after a few days.