PARENTS: Major Nationwide Spike in Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

Just in time for back-to-school... Doctors are warning parents to be on the lookout for hand, foot, and mouth disease. Doctors all around the country saw a huge spike in the number of cases of this common ailment over the summer.

The infection gets its name from the blistering rash it causes on the hands, feet, and/or inside the mouth. Blisters can show up in all three, or just one or two of these locations. It typically takes 7-10 days for the blisters to go away. It can be particularly difficult when the sores are inside a child's mouth, as it can make kids reluctant to eat or drink at all. 

The virus is also highly contagious. Kids often pick it up from daycare, pools, and camps, and it can live on hard surfaces. "Because this is spread by contact, usually from one person's skin to another person's skin, the best thing to do is always make sure you wash your hands," said Dr. Frank Esper to ABC News.

The virus can cause complications for young babies and anyone with a compromised immune system. 



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