Hand, foot and mouth disease spreads like wildfire through local city
UPDATED: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - 9:31pm
WACO -- Hand, foot and mouth disease has made its way to Waco.
"One child in the room that we had a case with that two or three other children did get it," said Dashelle Clement, nurse at Central Faith Child Development Daycare Center.
And those cases are increasing daily.
"I probably see two or three or four a day," said Dr. Karen Kemper, pediatrician at Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center.
Children as young as two- to three-weeks-old up to six-years-old can contract the virus.
It is not considered dangerous but it can be painful for kids.
"Every once in a while you'll have an outlier that really has a bad case," said Dr. Kemper.
"Fever, sore throat, and the gray pockets in the back of the throat, blisters will occur on the hands, in between the fingers, the palms and the soles of the feet," said Clement.
"Shallow ulcers and blisters. Of course in the mouth it makes their mouth very sore," said Dr. Kemper.
Officials say dehydration is the biggest threat when a child contracts the virus.
So it's important to keep them well hydrated and feed them bland foods that is tolerable for the child's sore mouth.
"Milk shakes and milk itself are coating. Yogurt, things like that are usually better tolerated," said Dr. Kemper.
So how do you prevent something so highly contagious?
"We disinfect the toys daily. We throw away all the tissues that come in contact with that child," said Clement.
"Washing your hands that's very important. Anything that children mouth on, cleaning those," said Dr. Kemper.
Officials say it can take anywhere between four to ten days to get over the disease.
Once a child has had the virus, they won't contract it again.