This disease affected my family right after Thanksgiving this year. It was not fun at all. I remembered how difficult this disease can be since my son had it when he was one-year-old. During this time, he was using a pacifier, but by the time the virus had run its course my son no longer used his pacifier. His mouth would hurt so bad during this time that he did not want anything in his mouth. So once it was over he had forgotten all about it. Even though I had dealt with this before it does not get any easier. This time was more difficult since I had two children infected with hand, foot and mouth disease.
The first symptom that occurred was that both of my children had fevers, which started Sunday night and lasted all day Monday. During this time I gave both of them Ibuprofen. My daughter was very cranky and all she wanted was for me to hold her. Besides the fever, I also noticed that on Monday night bumps were beginning to form around my daughter’s mouth. I immediately knew that it was hand, foot, and mouth because their cousin whom they had recently been around had been diagnosed with it at the doctor that day. I knew I was in for a week of dealing with two sick children.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hand, foot and mouth disease is a common virus that affects mostly infants and children younger than 5 years old and it can sometimes affect adults. Some adults may have the virus and not even know it because they do not show any symptoms, but can still spread it. The symptoms that can occur include fever, mouth sores and skin rash.
These are all of the symptoms that my children developed. My daughter had it worse than my son. The bumps were around her mouth, on her legs, feet, hands and genital area. My son had a few bumps around his mouth, legs, hand and feet. Both of them would start to scratch their bumps and my son said that he felt itchy. Luckily, they already had doctor’s appointments scheduled for Wednesday.
The doctor said that it was definitely hand, foot and mouth disease. He said they had seen a lot of cases in their office recently. He told me to be prepared for a not so good week and the only thing I could really do is to let the virus run its course. If they felt any discomfort or developed another fever then I could give them Ibuprofen. I asked the doctor about the itchiness that my children had and he said that is not usually a symptom. However, I believe that it can be because both of my children had the itchiness and they didn’t have any itching before they contracted the virus.
This disease is contagious and it is recommended for anyone with it to stay at home. It is spread from person to person through coughing, sneezing, contact with blister fluid or the stool of someone who is infected. A person is most contagious during their first week of having the virus. But, it can last for days or weeks after symptoms go away. The best practices to lower your chances of becoming infected are to wash your hands often, disinfect dirty surfaces, soiled items and avoid close contact with someone who has the virus. This is most likely why once my kids began to feel better, I started to feel like I was getting the flu. I could not turn down my children’s hugs and kisses.
My body ached, I had the chills and a sore throat. These symptoms lasted a little over a day. Then, I began to see red bumps that were itchy appear on my hands. Then they began to hurt and I had a few on my feet, which also hurt. I was able to feel what my children went through and I felt miserable. When the virus begins to go away the bumps will also go away a little at a time. A mark left behind, but it will eventually fade.
While this virus was spreading through my house I was wiping everything down with bleach and water. I also sprayed Lysol a lot to disinfect everything as well. My husband was the only one in our household that did not get it.
If you know anyone with this virus it is best to stay away until you know that their symptoms have gone away. Prepare for a lousy week if you or your child becomes infected with hand, foot, and mouth disease. It sucks.
Has anyone in your household contacted this disease? What was your experience?