Hand, foot and mouth disease is spreading quickly around Valley schools, including in Mesa and Gilbert. Dr. Sheena Banerjee from AllKids Urgent Care visited Channel 3 to talk about the illness and share prevention tips.
Although the name is scary, this viral infection is very common and shows up in late summer or early fall every year. It is highly contagious because it can be spread two different ways, by coughing or sneezing, like a cold or flu, and also through saliva and feces, like a stomach virus.
The disease can be very severe, causing blisters on the hands, feet, and inside the mouth. The blisters inside the mouth can cause the child to be in a lot of pain, especially in the throat making eating and drinking difficult. This can lead to dehydration which is dangerous.
Since this is a viral infection, there is no vaccine so you must try to prevent the spread of diseases much like you would a cold or flu, and then treat the symptoms, like controlling the pain, fever, and making sure the child stays hydrated.
Teach kids to cover mouth and nose for sneezing and coughing
Wash hands after mucus contact
Change contaminated clothing
No sharing of food
Don’t share utensils, cups, etc.
The first week is when the child is most contagious, but children can be contagious up to three weeks. It is recommended that you keep children home if they have a fever or open sores.
Mesa Pediatric Urgent Care and Gilbert Pediatric Urgent Care
AllKids Urgent Care believes that all kids deserve the best. Both our Mesa Pediatric Urgent Care and our Gilbert Pediatric Urgent Care are open from noon to 10 pm daily, including holidays, so we are available when kids (and parents) need us most. For more information on our pediatric urgent care clinics, click here for more information.