What’s Going Around: Hand, foot and mouth disease making a comeback


Lancaster General Health Physicians Roseville Pediatrics has continued to see a lot of strep throat as well as viral illnesses and sinusitis. They also had almost 20 cases of the flu this week, in particular strain B.

What’s more, they say the dreaded hand, foot, and mouth disease is making a comeback. Hand, foot, and mouth presents as a rash that can be found on any body part.

“The rash appears as flat or slightly raised red spots a few millimeters wide that can have a vesicle on them which appears as a small, fluid-filled bubble,” said Dr. Joan Thode.  “It often but not always will cause a crop of these lesions on the palms/fingers and soles/toes, and can involve the nails, causing them to appear abnormal or even fall off weeks later.”

Thode said the vesicles can occur in the mouth as well, causing a very painful sore throat that may make the child unwilling to eat, causing dehydration.

There is no treatment for hand, foot, and mouth disease as it is caused by a virus, Thode said.

“The typical course is about a week,” she said. “The main focus during that time is maintaining the child’s hydration despite the sore throat. Cold liquids and frozen treats like popsicles can help get fluids past the sores on the throat and tongue to prevent dehydration.”

Thode advised that a child is contagious if they are experiencing a fever or have an active rash. Once the rash crusts over and the fever subsides, the virus can no longer spread.

“The virus can remain on surfaces for long periods of time, making toy-sharing a big way of spreading the virus, particularly in daycare and school settings,” Thode said. “Frequent hand washing, particularly before eating, is very important.”

PinnacleHealth’s Heritage Pediatrics saw an increase in pneumonia cases. Pneumonia, an infection deep in the lungs, can be caused by a virus or bacteria.

Symptoms include chest pain, a wet, phlegmy cough, shortness of breath, or sometimes a wheezing and tightness in the chest.

Pneumonia is often accompanied by a fever, although in milder “walking pneumonia” cases a fever does not always appear.

With warmer temperatures, providers at Summit FastCare in Chambersburg say they have noticed an uptick in both seasonal allergies and urinary tract infections this past week.

High pollen counts are to blame for runny noses and itchy eyes. FastCare providers advise people to begin antihistamine medications and continue using them through the summer.

They warn people with asthma or COPD may suffer from more severe symptoms during this time.

If a child experiences frequent or painful urination, or blood in their urine, they need to be evaluated by a medical professional.  FastCare providers said to make sure to practice good hygiene and to stay hydrated.

Penn State Children’s Hospital and pediatric clinics continue to see the common cold, strep throat and a number of flu cases. They do anticipate flu cases to taper off as the weather continues to warm up.

WellSpan Medical Group providers are not seeing any prevalent illnesses or infections throughout Adams, Lancaster, Lebanon and York counties.  However, seasonal allergies are anticipated to ramp up soon.Get breaking news, weather and traffic on the go. Download our News App and our Weather App for your phone and tablet.

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