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Hand, foot and mouth symptoms; "Miserable virus" is spreading in MI

(WXYZ) – After New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard was withdrawn due to a common illness that often occurs in children, parents are warned that they too can intercept this contagious infection from their children.

What exactly is hand-foot-and-mouth disease?

It is a miserable virus that often spreads in the summer. Right now, it is on the rise in communities across the country, and we see it here in Michigan as well. The hand-foot-and-mouth disease lives in the gut and is often caused by Coxsackievirus A16. The disease is found in large groups of children, such as playgrounds, day care centers and schools. Since it primarily affects children under the age of 5, who do not yet have immunity from foot-and-mouth disease, many parents of this virus only consider it a disease of the child.

Why do parents get this virus if we supposedly built our immunity against it?

I am sure that many parents are surprised when they are diagnosed because your body develops immunity protection. But only to the specific virus that caused the infection. And unfortunately, hand-foot-and-mouth disease is actually caused by several different viruses, so you may end up getting the disease again. Symptoms that you should be aware of include fever, sore throat, loss of appetite, painful red patches or bumps all over, and red blisters in the mouth on the tongue, gums, and cheeks. Most cases of hand-foot-and-mouth disease are minor, but serious complications can happen like viral meningitis and encephalitis. So if you do not get better after a few days or if your symptoms get worse or you have difficulty drinking fluids, you should see your doctor.

How can parents protect themselves and their children?

You can easily choose this when in close contact with someone who is infected. My preventive recommendation number one, as always, is to wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Also, disinfect common areas and toys shared by several children. Parents, please talk to your children about good hygiene habits and why they should avoid putting some of their hands or objects in their mouths. And keep any sick person from avoiding this highly contagious disease.

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