LUBBOCK, Texas — Local doctors said they have seen a rise in cases of hand, foot, and mouth disease among children.
Celeste Caballero, a pediatrician for Covenant Health, said the virus most commonly makes an appearance during the summer and fall months and typically affects children under the age of 10.
“Hand, foot, and mouth is transmitted through the saliva so sharing drinks, let’s say a toddler slobbers on a toy and passes it along to another toddler,” said Caballero, “if a child goes to the toilet and doesn’t wash their hands well, it can also be transmitted that way too.”
Yvonne Picon said she found out her son had the virus after he approached her and said he was in discomfort.
“I noticed these red bumps and they just looked like bites,” said Picon. “At first they were like bite marks and then they would turn into blisters.”
Caballero said a rash is common with hand, foot, and mouth disease and it typically lasts seven to 10 days.
“Sometimes you can see a rash with this illness, which consists around the mouth, to the palms and the hands, bottoms of the feet, legs, arms and buttocks,” said Caballero.
Picon said her son even got the rash in his mouth and throat, so he had a hard time eating.
“Not seeing him wanting to eat kind of scared me a little bit,” said Picon. “We gave him popsicles, cold drinks, and other stuff the doctor recommended.”
Caballero said there’s no special medicine for the virus but that home care is important.
“The main therapy is just providing comfort for the children — Tylenol, Motrin for pain control of the throat,” said Caballero. “We can also give something called ‘magic mouthwash’ which sooths and numbs the mouth region, those ulcerations in the mouth and throat area.”
Caballero said it’s always best to get diagnosed by a doctor if one suspects their child has the disease.
“If your child has any fever, any runny nose, diarrhea, rashes of any sort,” said Caballero, “Please don’t take them back to daycare or camp. That’s the main way that this virus is spread throughout our community.”
For more information about hand, foot, and mouth disease, click HERE.