Parents are usually worried about their children when they start going to school, to kindergarten, or when they visit some after-school program, especially at this time of the year, as various infectious childhood illness sweeps through the rooms.
In most cases, children get their inoculations early on to prevent old-fashioned diseases such as mumps and rubella which led to huge swathes of children every year.
Nowadays, there is even an annual flu shot which helps children to prevent the winter’s most contagious illnesses.
Yet, some diseases are more difficult to prevent, such as the hand-foot-and-mouth disease. More than 200,000 Americans suffer from this disease every year.
According to the prediction of the experts at the West Central Health District in Georgia, this year might be a record-breaking year for the disease, and it is already causing outbreaks among school children and college students.
HFMD, or the hand-foot-and-mouth disease, is a common disease which affects hundreds of thousands of people annually. It is a highly contagious ailment and can be spread extremely easily, even with a kiss, a handshake, mucus or saliva, or just being with a person in the same room. Due to this, it is also widespread in kindergartens and pre-schools, where kids are often covered in snot and spit.
Additionally, college students often share their drinks or meals, and they are often overtired, lack sleep, and have a weak immune system.
The elderly, as well as all people with a weak immunity, are also prone to it, especially if they live in a nursing home. Yet, even the healthiest people cannot be completely sure that they are protected, as it all depends on the kinds of germs on is exposed to.
The symptoms are not life-threatening or intense, but they are quite unpleasant.
The symptoms are flu-like symptoms, such as fever and sore throat, as well as the characteristic itchy red spots that appear on the mouth, hands, and feet.
The sores might also appear on the genitals and the legs. In most cases, the virus clears up on its own after a week or two.
However, if this disease runs in the family, you should visit your doctor. Since it is contagious, you need to stay home in order to prevent it from spreading to others.
This disease causes mild symptoms, but its side-effects can be severe, especially in aged people or individuals with weakened immune systems.
HFMD might also cause serious brain infections such as meningitis and encephalitis. Moreover, if the symptoms are not treated for a few weeks, children might lose some of their fingernails or toenails.
The CDC reports that the HFMD outbreaks are not common in the USA, but this year might be different.
Namely, a huge outbreak has been sweeping through Georgia, and could affect South Eastern US, and even other regions of the country.
Therefore, if you live in these areas, you should be extremely vigilant about your hygiene habits. You should wash the hands after leaving the bathroom and before meals.
The children should stay at home if you suspect that they have HFMD. If you by any chance come into contact with the illness, you should rest and drink lots of fluids, even if the sores cause a slight pain in the throat.