Saturday, May 12, 2012
Posted by: Sharmila Rajah Post(s) by this bloggerWe're hearing so many cases of the above around us. So let's update ourselves about this disease.
What is it?
HFM is a viral illness. It produces blisters in the mouth and a rash primarily on hands, feet or buttocks in most children. Children are cranky with a sore throat, decreased appetite and/or fever. The illness typically clears in a week.
It is caused by several different viruses. The vast majority of cases are caused by the coxsackievirus A16.
What if your child has gotten it before- is he or she immune to it?
A child will form antibodies to a virus that causes the infection. If your child is re-exposed to the same virus, he will probably not be re-infected though he may still be susceptible to the virus in varying degrees.
The good news- most children have had one case of hand-foot-and-mouth syndrome caused by the coxsackievirus A16. Therefore, they probably will not catch it again but there are no guarantees, especially if a different strain of virus becomes the major cause of this disease.
The not-so-good news - The coxsackievirus A16 occasionally succeeds in hiding inside children's own cells. It can cause chronic and recurring skin lesions. Your child's healthy immune system is able to keep these recurrences from being as severe as the initial episode.