The hand-foot-and-mouth disease, or HFMD, is a highly contagious ailment that affects hundreds of thousands of people very year. It can be spread very easily, even with a handshake, a kiss, saliva or mucus, or just being with an infected person in the same room. For this reason, it’s also widespread in pre-schools and kindergartens, where children are usually covered in snot and spit.
Moreover, college students normally share their meals or drinks, and they’re usually overtired, lack sleep, and have an unstable immune system.
The elderly, especially those living in nursing homes, are also prone to HFMD. Even the healthiest people are not completely out of risk, as it all boils down to the kind of germs one is exposed to.
While the symptoms aren’t intense or life-threatening, they can be quite unpleasant. The symptoms include fever, sore throat, and the characteristic itchy red spots that appear on one’s hands, feet, and mouth.
The sores might also appear on your legs and genitals. Often times, the virus clears up by itself after 1-2 weeks.
Nonetheless, if this disease runs in the family, it’s advisable to visit your doctor. In light of the fact that it’s contagious, you should stay at home in order to avoid spreading it to others.
HFMD causes mild symptoms, but the side-effects can be serious, especially in the elderly or individuals with weakened immune systems.
This disease can also cause serious infections, like encephalitis and meningitis. Additionally, if the symptoms aren’t treated for some weeks, children could lose some of their toenails or fingernails.
According to CDC, there is a huge HFMD outbreak sweeping across Georgia and might affect South Eastern US, as well as other regions of the country. Hence, you’re advised to be extremely vigilant about your personal hygiene if you live in these areas.
Kids should remain at home if you suspect they have HFMD. In case you come into contact with this illness, you should drink lots of fluids and take a rest.
Watch this video for more information about HFMD: