Health Department Warns Of Increase In Hand Foot and Mouth Disease
The Missoula City County Health Department is warning residents that Missoula is experiencing an increase in Hand Foot and Mouth Disease.
Health Promotions Director Cindy Hotchkiss said the disease is common to children, but can often affect adults.
"Hand Foot and Mouth Disease is a very common childhood virus and most kids will get this virus at some point," Hothkiss said. "It's a pretty mild illness, and causes fever, blisters in the mouth, and a rash that's usually seen on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet, which is where the name hand foot and mouth comes from."
Hotchkiss said the disease can be spread in several ways, through saliva, mucus or stool of an infected person.
"Both parents, caregivers and children should wash their hands frequently especially after coughing, sneezing and diaper changing or using the bathroom," she said. "Use a tissue to cover your mouth if you sneeze or cough and dispose of the tissue right away.Follow a strict cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting routine. Don’t forget to thoroughly clean doorknobs, light switches, hand rails, and any other hard surfaces that are frequently touched."
Hotchkiss said even though the health department doesn't officially track the disease, her office is still receiving an increasing number of calls from parents, daycare providers,and healthcare providers that are seeing more cases in their clinics.