Localities seeing increasing Hand, Foot and Mouth illnesses, VDH - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Localities seeing increasing Hand, Foot and Mouth illnesses, VDH officials say

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Vesicular eruptions in A) hand, B) foot, and C) mouth of a 6.5-year-old boy (Courtesy: CDC) Vesicular eruptions in A) hand, B) foot, and C) mouth of a 6.5-year-old boy (Courtesy: CDC)
LEBANON, VA - (News Release)  Some area health care practices report seeing more children with a viral infection called hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD). This is a common, typically mild, but contagious childhood disease.

An infected person may spread the viruses that cause HFMD through close personal contact, the air (through coughing or sneezing), or contact with feces or contaminated objects and surfaces. For example, you might get infected by kissing someone who is sick or by touching a doorknob that has the virus on it then touching your eyes, mouth or nose. Symptoms usually appear three to seven days after exposure to the virus, and most children and adults recover on their own in seven to 10 days.

“Hand, foot and mouth disease is a seasonal disease that peaks in the summer and fall, so the current increase in reports is pretty normal; other areas of the state are seeing the same thing,” said Melody Counts, M.D., director of the Cumberland Plateau Health District. “The Health Department works closely with area schools and day care facilities to make these places as healthy as possible for our children, but parents, grandparents and other caretakers play a major role, too.”

Here are some ways to prevent HFMD from spreading:
  • If your child develops symptoms, consult with his/her health care provider;
  • Keep sick children out of school and away from other children until they feel better, their fever is gone and the doctor says it's OK;
  • Be extra diligent about cleaning toys, doorknobs, remote controls and anything handled by the sick child; and
  • Please encourage frequent, thorough hand-washing.
For more information, call your local health department:
  • Tazewell County Health Department, 276-988-5585
  • Buchanan County Health Department, 276-935-4591
  • Dickenson County Health Department, 276-926-4979
  • Russell County Health Department, 276- 889-7621
For information online, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov, www.facebook.com/cphdvdh and www.cdc.gov.
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