Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease is making its rounds across Salt Lake Valley
(KUTV) -- Pediatricians warn it’s a bad year for Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease. The nasty virus is making rounds across the Salt Lake Valley.
“I’ve seen a lot more kids with it and it seems like it’s gone on for longer,” Suzanne Holbrook, M.D., a pediatrician at Sunnyside Pediatrics in Salt Lake City said.
The highly contagious virus is typically more prevalent in the spring and summer months, but this year Holbrook is seeing even more cases than normal.
“Most of these viruses do come in seasonally. I don’t have a good reason. It’s like influenza comes between November through March. It’s just the way viruses operate,” she said.
Two-year-old Madi Shaw started showing symptoms on Saturday. By Monday, her feet, hands, throat and tongue were all coated in sores.
“She would take a drink of water and she would grab her throat and it would just burn,” Jamie Shaw, Madi’s mom said.
Three of her older children all had Hand, Foot and Mouth when they were young, but their cases were not as bad as Madi’s.
“It’s throughout her throat. Her tongue has it. She wasn’t able to eat for a few days. It was miserable,” Shaw said.
Coxsackievirus, it’s medical name, can be extremely painful. Because it’s a virus, antibiotics won’t help. Holbrook says all parents can do is try to treat the pain with Tylenol or Advil.
Another common misconception is that the virus can spread through the feet or hands. Holbrook said that is not true.
“You can’t get it through the lesions or the rash. It’s just the spit,” she said.
It’s important to make sure children with Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease stay hydrated.
Often, blisters and sores in the mouth and throat will make it hard to drink.
Holbrook suggests cold beverages, popscicles and ice cream. She said the best way to prevent sickness is to wash hands and to keep sick kids at home.