Hand, foot and mouth disease on the rise

Concerns grow as Hand, Foot & Mouth disease is on the rise as new school year is set to begin
Daycare teacher Chanteshia Brundidge is taking extra precautions with her students. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Daycare teacher Chanteshia Brundidge is taking extra precautions with her students. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A warning for parents as they send their kids back to school: some doctors say hand, foot and mouth disease is on the rise.

"It's a viral infection and it typically starts off with a low-grade fever and then it progresses to the child developing some oral ulcers and they will also have some blistering on their hands as well as on their feet," said Montgomery Family Medicine Dr. Durojaye.

Hence the name "hand, foot and mouth." It is highly contagious and most common in children.

"It's a viral infection and it's typically transmitted in respiratory secretions, so when people cough and through their snot," Durojaye said.

Although less common, adults can also get the disease.

"In little kids, who are just the infants, when their mom or dad changes their diaper as well they could also be some fecal transmission there," said Durojaye.

Durojaye said it's common that the disease spreads between June and October, which includes the time children go back to school.

That's why daycare teacher Chanteshia Brundidge is taking extra precautions with her students.

"We just make sure we're sanitizing every day on a daily basis," said Brundidge. "Sanitize all the toys, the chairs, tables, the doorknobs. We mop the floor, wipe the walls down, make sure we stress to the kids how important it is for them to wash their hands to get the germs down."

Because even though it is contagious, there are ways to prevent the disease from spreading.

"If they're coughing or sneezing or anything, we teach the kids the importance of covering your mouth and not spreading your germs to other people. If you have to cough we tell them to cover their mouth to be sure that they're not spreading germs," Brundidge said.

Durojaye said other ways to protect yourself from the disease are washing your hands after you use the restroom, washing your hands before you eat, and wiping down common areas around your house, like doorknobs and remote controls.

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