It's the time of year for a common childhood virus to makes its way through preschools and daycares. Doctors in Plattsburgh say while it may look and sound serious, hand-foot-and-mouth disease is nothing life-threatening.
Jamie Basiliere is a Plattsburgh mom who's familiar with the virus doctors say is currently going around Clinton County. Her 3-year-old son caught it.
"Got these blisters on his hands and blisters on his feet. He was cranky, ran a fever for a couple of days," said Jaime Basiliere, Plattsburgh.
So, Basiliere took her son to the pediatrician.
"This was diagnosed as HFMD," said Basiliere.
Doctors say it's a common childhood virus typically affecting children ages 4 and under.
"It's a viral infection. If affects the throat first. It can cause spots on the hands and feet, with a fever. It's not a serious illness but if does strike some fear in people's hearts," said Dr. Anthony Garami, pediatrician.
It's also highly contagious.
"It ran through his preschool program and every kid had it. And as parents we were all horrified that our child could have something called HFMD," said Basiliere.
Doctors say HFMD can be easily transmitted. Kids can pick it up by simply touching playground equipment. The Clinton County Health Department warns that HFMD should not be confused with foot-and-mouth disease, a different kind of virus known to affect animals.
"It's not the same at all as the cattle disease and it's not caught from animals. It's a person to person virus that runs in the summertime," said Garami.
Doctors say HFMD can last anywhere from 7 to 10 days. There's no cure for this virus, but there may be ways to prevent it.
"I guess the best thing to do is just try to take precaution against everything, washing hands and trying to sanitize things around," Erin Laundrie, Plattsburgh.
Basiliere says her son's fever broke after a couple of days and the blisters faded in about a week.
"It is what it is. It was mild and it ran its course," said Basiliere.
Garami says HFMD can cause infants to have difficulty swallowing. He says if a child shows any signs of this virus, a doctor's visit is always recommended.
Doctors say adults and older children can be carriers of HFMD and not show any symptoms of the virus. Doctors suggest pain relievers and keeping the child hydrated while the virus runs its course.
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