Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

     One of the common childhood illnesses that we see is Hand, Foot, and Mouth (HFM) disease. Many years, it is a later warm-weather illness (August, September), but this year we have seen cases throughout the Spring and still see cases nearly every day in the office. Nationwide, it has been reported that other doctors are seeing similar cases.
     HFM disease is a illness causes by a virus in the enterovirus family called Coxsackie virus. It runs it course without special treatment, but typically the fever and mouth discomfort will be helped by using fever-reducers and a combination of liquid diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and Maalox or Mylanta. See our website here for more information about the illness and its treatment.  
     On a personal note, my parents recall very well that I ruined a vacation to New York City with a bad case of Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease when I was little. And, fittingly, two of my children had the illness when we took a vacation they were toddlers. It is NOT a fun illness. But it will pass with a rough few days to a week.

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