Doctors report increase in hand, foot and mouth disease

Michael Ronnebaum
January 03, 2018 - 4:35 am

Doctors around the Kansas City area say they are seeing an increased number of people showing up with hand, foot and mouth disease, a common problem in infants and children under the age of five.

Symptoms of the viral infection include fever, painful sores in the mouth and red spots on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. 

The best way to fight HFMD is time at home with some over-the-counter medication, said Dr. Angela Myers, Children's Mercy Hospital.

"Ibuprofen or Tylenol, lots of hydration and rest are really what's key," Myers said. "Typically the illness lasts a week or so."

Doctors say teachers should keep a close eye on their students for symptoms.

"Another thing teachers can do is certainly practice hand hygiene for themselves, but then also promote that with their children in their classrooms," Myers said.

HFMD can also affect adults, though they may show no symptoms at all.

The virus is rarely dangerous but in extreme cases it can lead to complications that include viral meningitis, inflammation of the brain or loss of fingernails or toenails.

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