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Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease On the Rise: Experts Beg Parents to Know the Signs


Parents are usually concerned about their children when they are about to go to school, to kindergarten, or when they start visiting some after-school program. They are especially worried at this period of the year, as they are more prone to different infections.

The majority of children, get their inoculations early on, as a preventive measure against old-fashioned diseases like mumps and rubella.

Currently, there is even an annual flu shot which prevents the most contagious illnesses during the winter.

However, there are some diseases such as the hand-foot-and-mouth disease, which are difficult to recognize them by its symptoms. Therefore it is even more difficult to make a diagnosis. More than 200,000 Americans experience this condition every year.

Medical experts at the West Central Health District in Georgia, predict that this year might mark breaking of the record for the disease, and it is already causing epidemic among school children and college students.

HFMD, which stands for hand-foot-and-mouth disease, has become a common disease which affects a number of people annually. It belongs to the group of highly contagious illnesses and its spreading is very rapid. It can be transmitted with a kiss, a handshake, mucus or saliva, or just being with a person in the same room who is carrying this disease. As a consequence, it is widely spread in kindergartens and pre-schools, where kids have spit all over their body.

Students usually practice sharing their meals and drinks, and they are often exhausted, lack sleeping hours, and their immunity is weakened.

Aged people, and people with a weak immune system, are more likely to develop this disease. The risk is even higher if they live in a nursing home. However, even healthy people cannot be completely sure that they are safe. You should know that all depends on the kinds of germs is exposed to.

The symptoms don’t represent a health threat, but they can be very unpleasant.

The symptoms are similar to the flu, such as fever and sore throat. The disease is characterized by itchy red spots that appear on the mouth, hands, and feet. The red spots may also appear on the genitals and the legs. Usually, the infection clears up on its own after a week or two.

But, in case this disease runs in the family, you should see your doctor. As this virus is contagious, don’t leave your home to prevent transmiting to others.

At first, its symptoms are described as mild, but later its side-effects can be severe. As we said, elderly people and people with weak immunity, should be especially careful.

HFMD might also lead to dangerous brain infections such as meningitis and encephalitis. On top of it, if the symptoms are left untreated for a few weeks, children might lose some of their fingernails or toenails.

The CDC informs that the HFMD outbreaks are not that common in the United States, but they expect that this year might be different.

For now, a major outbreak has been noticed in Georgia, and could affect South Eastern US. So, if you live in these regions, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after using the bathroom and before having a meal.

Leave your children at home if you think that they have HFMD. If you happen to feel symptoms of this disease or if you have been diagnosed with it, it is recommended to rest and drink lots of fluids.

Watch the video below to find out more information on this matter:

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