Dr. Gennrich on KXAN-TV: Fall is ‘Hand-Foot-and-Mouth’ Season

Doctors around Central Texas are reporting a rise in hand-foot-and-mouth disease cases in children. What is hand-foot-and-mouth disease, how contagious is it, and can adults get it?

KXAN’s Sally Hernandez stopped in at Austin Regional Clinic to learn more from pediatrician, Dr. Michael Gennrich. Check out the interview here.

What is hand-foot-and-mouth disease?

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is a mild, highly contagious viral infection that is most often acquired by children under five years old.

What are the symptoms?

A common symptom is that your child has stopped eating. This often happens because soars in his or her mouth and throat make it painful to swallow. Other symptoms include a fever and red bumps on the hands and feet.

"A lot of times if you're looking, you'll see a little red spot around the hands, feet or diaper area and sometimes even a little blister which is really a giveaway for this disease," Gennrich told KXAN.

Can adults get hand-foot-and-mouth disease?

Dr. Michael Gennrich says the illness usually impacts kids under the age of five but says it can spread to older kids and adults in a less severe form.

How contagious is it?

The virus is highly contagious for up to a week, says Dr. Gennrich. He advises to keep your child home from school and child care facilities for at least 24 hours following a fever. You should also check with your doctor if you aren’t sure whether your child is still contagious. "I think most kids have a pretty tough time for about three days and maybe up to a week," he says.

What is the best way to prevent hand-foot-and-mouth disease from spreading?

Hand washing is the best defense — that means your child and everyone else in contact with your child. Avoid sharing cups and eating utensils with people who have hand-foot-and-mouth disease and clean toys, diaper changing tables, and other items that they may have come into contact with.

Check out the KXAN interview here.

Not sure if you’re child has hand-foot-and-mouth disease? Book an appointment with an ARC provider online or by calling 512-272-4636.

Tags: Dr. Michael Gennrich, Hand foot mouth disease