Local health district warns of uptick in hand, foot, and mouth disease among children

(Photo courtesy of CDC)

LEXINGTON, Va. (WSET) -- A local health district has sent letters to childcare providers across the state to warn of a contagious virus spreading among infants and young children.

According to ABC affiliate WHSV, hand, foot, and mouth disease is on the rise.

The viral illness typically infects children up to age five, but anyone is susceptible to the disease.

According to the letter sent out by the Central Shenandoah Health District, emergency department and urgent care visits have increased due to the illness in recent weeks.

The health director told WHSV that there were a total of 376 emergency department and urgent care visits.

According to the Virginia Department of Health, symptoms include fever, fatigue, and then a rash that typically in the mouth, on palms, or soles.

Painful sores are sometimes associated with the disease.

Infected persons are most contagious during the first week of the illness.

HFMD is spread from person to person by direct contact with the viruses that cause this disease.

There is no treatment for the illness, but there are ways to keep it from spreading like washing your hands often with soap, disinfecting dirty surfaces and soiled items, and avoid close contact such as kissing, hugging, and sharing utensils with people who have the disease.

If you are concerned about your symptoms, contact your healthcare provider.

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