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Hand, foot and mouth disease very contagious, affects kids 5 and younger

What's Going Around

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla – It was going around at local day cares and it's highly contagious. Hand, Foot and Mouth disease incubates for four to seven days but once you have it you know it. 

 It's a common viral illness in infants and children younger than 5 years.  We talked with Dr. Shalaka Ghate at Memorial Family Medicine about the painful condition.

"It can be oral ulcers on the mouth area and lips and it can affect the hands and feet of these kids," says Ghate.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, hand, foot and mouth disease starts with a fever, poor appetite and a sore throat.  A day or two after, the fever starts and painful sores develop in the mouth.

"It does start as a fever it can make the kids miserable because they're not able to eat or drink as well. So we just recommend to keep hydrated to make sure they don't go through dehydration because of it," says Ghate.

Dr. Ghate suggests popsicles, smoothies or broth.  Just make sure they're sipping something.  The bumps can spread all over the body, the soles of the feet, on the knees, and elbows.  They can be flat or raised red spots with blisters.  Unfortunately there's not much you can do because it's a virus but keep the child comfortable and hydrated.

"Probably just like moisturize and keep the areas clean," says Ghate.

Contact your doctor if mouth sores or a sore throat keep your child from drinking fluids.   Also, contact your doctor if after a few days, your child's signs and symptoms worsen.  

Doctors in Clay County at the CareSpot in Middleburg are treating Strep throat.  They say you need to wash your hands often this summer.  If you get strep throat you need to see a doctor and make sure you throw out your toothbrush.

In Nassau County doctors at the CareSpot in Yulee are treating urinary tract infections, injuries strep throat and pink eye. 

In St. Johns County at Healing Arts Urgent Care they're treating sinus infections.  Which causes irritation from the drainage of the throat.  Doctors say if you clear up your sinuses it will clear your sore throat.  They're also treating ear infections, and urinary tract infections.  Doctors say make sure you're drinking water and not getting dehydrated because that can lead to urinary tract infections. 


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