These days, there are a lot of incidences seen of a condition, similar to chicken pox but slightly less severe, among kids. But it isn’t chicken pox or small pox. Obviously, after the widespread use of highly effective vaccinations for all such contagious diseases we would not expect their return.
But then what is this parallel condition, with red bumps on the skin environment the mouth, hands and the feet? It is the new name in the list of child diseases, known as the hand foot and mouth disease. It is a human disease caused due to the intestinal invasion by viruses of the family Picornaviridae.
The incubation period of this virus is usually 3-7 days. This disease most frequently attacks the health of children and infants. Though the degree of contagiousness associated with this disease is moderate, yet if direct contact is made with the victim’s saliva, mucus, feaces, or the red bumps of the disease, the infection may spread in a rapid manner.
The disease occurs via epidemics among children in nurseries, play schools, kindergarten and so on. The usual period when this disease in on a high is during summer and the months of autumn. Though the hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is uncommon in adults, yet some people with high deficiencies of basic immunity can have to deal with this condition.
How to identify HFMD?
Let us now get attention towards some of the primary signs and symptoms of the HFMD.
- Fever, headache, and vomiting are the basic signs of the disease that can be noticeable as the very first of the adversities.
- Pain in the throat and tough soreness, with observed painful lesions in the oral cavity, and complained severe pain in the ears.
- Fatigue, malaise and restlessness seen in the behavior of kids due to such nuisance.
- Body rashes that are not developed due to scratching, since they are not accompanied by itching. Following rashes are the sores and blisters on inner and outer palms and soles of feet.
- Development of oral ulcers, showing red bumps on the inner sides of the lips, tongue, gums, walls and the roof of the oral cavity.
- Red bumps, many in number, developing on the lips (outer), cheeks, nose and the areas surrounding the mouth. Not to mention hands and feet which are, now, seen to be covered in red bumps.
- Infants can show up sores and blisters on the bums and thighs.
- Irritability and loss of appetite seen in infants, esp. toddlers.
- Conditions of vomiting along with diarrhea become severe, leading the baby’s body to dehydration.
How to treat HFMD?
In case of the hand, foot and mouth disease, there are no specifications regarding treatments. There are no precise treatment measures defined for curing viral diseases and infections.
However, relieving of the symptoms can be opted for, depending on the individuality of the symptoms seen in a particular infant. Use of medications is suggested for fixing common and early ailments like fever, vomiting, pain from the sores, etc.
Lukewarm water baths are also helpful to reduce the temperatures. In case of viral disease, the infectors run their course and leave the body. Unless the severity of the infection is out of human bounds of endurance, the doctors do not suggest any medicine for HFMD.
The disease take time to get excluded from a child’s or infant’s body, but same is not the case with an older kid or an adolescent. The effects of the disease on the latter ones are mild and the virus quits the body within a period of 1-2 weeks.
Hardly a small number of sufferers of the hand foot and mouth disease require to get hospitalized, due to affect of the disease complicating the neurological conditions – for example, in cases of meningitis, encephalitis, acute flaccid paralysis, pulmonary hemorrhage, etc.)
Any further complications?
Other complications that may occur as well as the HFMD include aseptic meningitis, which causes fever, headaches, taut neck and pain in the back.
Encephalitis is another adversity that may accompany or follow the HFMD; this condition is nothing but swelling of the brain, which causes paralysis or deformations of the body organs, like in polio.
Loss of finger and toe nails in children whose hand foot and mouth disease does not quit them even after 4 – 5 weeks of infection.
However, according to reports the nail losses are seen to be temporary and there is rapid growth in the nails of both, fingers and toes, once the virus is completely eradicated off the body.