foot and mouth disease is in the news with Yankees pitcher J.A.
Happ becoming the second Major League Baseball pitcher
afflicted in recent weeks. Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard was
the first player to get felled by the ailment, reportedly
after visiting a childrenís camp. But doctors say itís
vital to understand that the group most vulnerable to this
sickness is children under 10.
this viral illness, which is highly contagious and often
painful, is on the rise just as parents start to think about
sending the kids back to school, which is a prime place to
catch it. Doctors are advising parents to be careful and to
make sure their children know how to prevent contracting the
picked up easily in day care centers, especially,"
according to Dr. Trachella Johnson Foy, a family physician for
Baptist Health in Jacksonville, Fla., told the Atlanta
Journal-Constitution. "Of course, with us getting back to
school ó the elementary school children are going to be at a
consisting of a fever, a general malaise, blister-like legions
and a red rash that develops in the mouth or sores on the
hands and feet, the sickness usually runs its course in three
to five days. As the Mayo Clinic cites, people hit with the
virus are most contagious during the first week, but it can
remain in the body for weeks after symptoms and signs are
gone. Adults can often pass the virus (by coughing or
sneezing) without showing any symptoms of the ailment.
Lindsay Schroedter, whose whole family has been struck ill at
the same time, the misery started when her son Aidan, 8, came
home with little red spots that looked like bug bites after
playing at the park.
had a fever," says the mother of two. "Then next day
the Ďbug bitesí appeared all over his hands and feet and
he had a sore throat. Then the fever went away and the spots
blistered. He had a hard time walking because of the blisters
on the soles of his feet. A few weeks later my daughter got
all have it, including Schroedterís mother and husband,
whose throat is so inflamed he is having trouble eating.
skin is peeling off our hands as though we are shedding our
winter coat. Itís gross," says Schroedter, who says she
probably got it from her baby daughter Avery, 1. "My
daughter kisses us all the time and shares our drinks so Iím
sure thatís how my mom and I got it from her."
is simple, although itís just the sort of thing kids have
trouble remembering to do. Washing your hands carefully is a
key part of not spreading the virus. Cover your face when you
cough or sneeze and never share food and drinks. Parents and
teachers are also advised to disinfect common areas regularly,
including shared items such as toys because the virus can live
on these objects for days.
mind that itís very important to stay home from school or
work if you think you may have it to prevent the outbreak from