Health Update: Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

Dear Parent or Guardian:

Your child may have recently been exposed to Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease (HFMD). HFMD is a common viral infection that most often causes outbreaks in the summer and fall.

What are the symptoms of HFMD? Despite its scary name, 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 troublesome finding often are the blisters in the mouth, which make it difficult for the child to eat or drink.

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 should stay home if they have blisters in their mouths and are drooling, have weeping blisters on their hands, or are too ill to participate in daily activities.

How is HFMD diagnosed and treated? A health care provider can identify HFMD by the symptoms reported and the appearance and location of the blisters. No specific treatment is available. 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 frequently and thoroughly with warm water and soap.

  • After using the bathroom, wash hands thoroughly with warm water and soap.

  • After changing a diaper, wash both your hands and the baby’s hands with warm wanter 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. Dispose of tissues that contain nasal secretions after each use.

If you have any further questions, please contact your child’s daycare or the Clark County Combined Health District at (937) 390-5600.

Health Department Info on Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

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