ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Local hospitals and doctors’ offices are seeing a spike in cases of a common childhood virus called hand, foot and mouth disease.
“We are seeing a lot of hand, foot and mouth disease,” says Dr. Ken Haller, a SLU Care pediatrician at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center. “Now this is a viral illness that is very commonly seen among young kids. It’s very contagious, but the good news is that it’s really quite harmless.”
Haller says the biggest concern is making sure children don’t get dehydrated.
If a child is well hydrated and going about their daily activities, hand, foot and mouth disease is not something to see a doctor for, he says. However, if a child is in danger of becoming dehydrated, that’s when it is a good idea to take them to the doctor.
“Generally they will start out with a fever; they might have a little bit of trouble swallowing; they will kind of feel lousy,” Haller says. “And then after a couple of days, what will happen is they’ll get like little red spots on the palms of their hands and soles of their feet.”
There’s no treatment for hand, foot and mouth disease – it simply has to runs its course.
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