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Local daycare deep-cleaning due to highly contagious virus

(WHAM photo)

A virus, which is especially common this time of year, is going around and has at least one local daycare in deep-cleaning mode..

It's called Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease. It's most common in infants and toddlers, but adults can get it too. You may not see symptoms of it for several days, making it highly contagious.

Symptoms include sores on hands and feet, as well as inside the mouth.

“I just remember holding my baby. She just seemed fussy and out of sorts, and then all of a sudden I realized, ‘Oh no. She's got sores in her mouth.' I knew she'd already drooled on me.” Dr. Elizabeth Murray, a pediatrician at Golisano Children's Hospital, said.

It's caused by a virus, and can spread through stools and saliva.

Dr. Murray's daughter had it years ago.

“Kids can touch their mouth, they can sneeze, they can drool on things, and then the germ is there for another child to pick up right away,” she explained. “Sometimes it starts with some fussy behavior; maybe they're putting their hands in their mouth a lot.”

It doesn't respond to antibiotics, so Dr. Murray recommends over-the-counter medication, like children's ibuprofen for the pain from the sores, which can make it difficult for kids to eat or drink.

“Popsicles, yogurt, apple sauce, cool things to eat can help keep the child hydrated, but it's also cool going down,” she suggested.

The worst symptoms last three to four days. Go to the doctor if your child has a fever of 102 degrees or higher, or if they show signs of dehydration.

“It is terrible and it really is hard. Phone a friend, get some help,” Dr. Murray added.

Make sure kids cover their mouth when they cough, always wash hands, and be sure to disinfect toys.

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