Piedmont doctors seeing increase in hand, foot and mouth disease

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During winter it’s influenza, but this time of year there’s another virus to look out for -- especially if you have young children.

Piedmont doctors are seeing an increase in hand, foot and mouth disease.

It’s a viral infection that can come with painful blisters in the mouth and on the hands and feet.

Dr. Amy Jo Wallace is a pediatrician with Brenner Children’s Hospital in the Kernersville Pediatrics office.

Wallace has seen a number of recent cases.

“The past several weeks we have seen a lot of cases of hand, foot and mouth,” she said.

It’s more common in infants and toddlers and is more prevalent during spring and summer.

Cone Heath pediatricians report seeing several cases recently.

Novant Heath reports that its Meadowlark Pediatrics office has seen about 25 patients in the past few weeks with two people coming in today.

The virus is contagious and can spread easily at summer camps, day care centers or other environments where kids are in close proximity.

The Learning Place, a day care affiliated with Novant Health is taking precautions.

“Every day, especially for our infants and toddlers, we sanitize all toys in a bleach-water solution,” said Nancy Hollis, childcare manager at The Learning Place.

There is no medication doctors can prescribe for hand, foot and mouth disease because it is a viral infection.

Doctors say it will usually go away on its own in a few days.

Parents can use medicine to reduce fever and should also make sure their child stays hydrated.

If a child is unable to drink because of blisters, Wallace says an ice pop is another option.

Hand-washing is the best preventative measure.

Adults can get hand, foot and mouth disease, but it is not as common as it is among children.