While most of the nation is focused on the swiftly-moving H1N1 virus this Summer, the season is ripe for other viruses that thrive in warm weather and the activities people pursue throughout those months. Coxsackie virus, also known as hand-foot and mouth disease, is spread through direct contact with nose and throat discharges, as well as bowel movements from infected people. Tots tend to transfer the moderately contagious virus to each other in warm months due to their use of pools and outdoor play equipment. Though not serious, it is most recognizable by the sores it causes to appear in the mouth and on the hands, feet and sometimes legs. According to WebMD:
Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is a common childhood illness. The disease is not serious, and it usually goes away in a week or so. At first your child may feel tired, get a sore throat, or have a fever of around 101F to 103F. Then in a day or two, your child may get sores or blisters on the hands, feet, mouth, and sometimes the buttocks. In some cases a child will get a skin rash before the blisters appear. The blisters may break open and crust over. The sores and blisters usually go away in a week or so.
Coxsackies' mouth sores may make it difficult for kids to eat. Give your child plenty of fluids to keep him hydrated and consider Popsicles, ice cream and other frozen treats to cool off their mouths Though there is no treatment for the virus, doctors may recommend over-the-counter pain relievers to help soothe the patient.