WHAT IS HAND FOOT MOUTH DISEASE, THE CHILDREN ARE SUFFERING RECENTLY: SUNDAY MIRROR

Hand Foot Mouth disease is a viral infection which is going over many places in the world. It’s a viral disease. It happens to children very commonly. But in the corona period media houses are giving undue importance to many infections. That’s why in this season the hand foot Mouth virus has gained immense importance.

The infection is caused by a virus. Generally it infects infants and toddlers. The infection is highly contagious. If it happens to a child it can infect every one of the class. HFMD is highly contagious and is transmitted saliva or nasal mucus, by direct contact. It is possible to be infectious for days to weeks after the symptoms have resolved.

Child care settings are the most common places for HFMD to be contracted because of toilet training, diaper changes, and the fact that children often put their hands into their mouths. HFMD is contracted through nose and throat secretions such as saliva, sputum, nasal mucus and as well as fluid in blisters, and stool.

Common constitutional signs and symptoms of the HFMD include fever, nausea, vomiting, tiredness, and irritability in infants and toddlers. Skin lesions frequently develop in the form of a rash or coloured spot which may be followed by sores with water in it with blisters on palms of the hands, soles of the feet, buttocks, and sometimes on the lips. That’s why the term hand foot and mouth comes. The rash is rarely itchy for children. Painful facial ulcers, blisters, or lesions may also develop in or around the nose or mouth. HFMD usually resolves on its own after 7–10 days. Most cases of the disease are relatively self limiting, but complications including encephalitis, meningitis, and paralysis that mimic the neurological symptoms of polio can occur.

Preventive measures include avoiding direct contact with infected individuals, proper cleaning of shared utensils, disinfecting surfaces, and proper hand hygiene. These measures have been shown to be effective in decreasing the transmission of the viruses responsible for HFMD.

Protective habits like hand washing and disinfecting surfaces in play areas are big keys for prevention. Every school going child should be taught about the steps of hand washing. Breast-feeding has also shown to decrease rates of severe HFMD, though does not reduce the risk for the infection of the disease. Treatment depends upon sufficient water use, treatment of fever and headache. Usually it resolves within 7-10 days.

If a child is suffering from HFMD, keep him/her isolated, give sufficient water, teach hand washing. Visit your pediatrician for symptomatic treatment. Please don’t panic. It will be healed soon.

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