MACON, Ga. — Hand, foot and mouth disease is painful and highly contagious — and a local ER doctor says they’ve seen a lot of cases recently in middle Georgia.
The Yates family says three out of their five members have hand, foot and mouth. Gene and Lacey Yates thought it was just an allergic reason to ant bites when their youngest child came down with it.
“She was so miserable that we were like, ‘Yeah we got to take her to the ER,'” Lacey Yates said.
Dr. Mickey Bansal, a pediatric ER doctor with Coliseum Medical Center, says it usually affects children under the age of five.
“Being in that they’re playing with toys,” Bansal said. “The kids saliva or secretions can be on there — some of the blister fluid.”
He says symptoms usually last five to seven days but it doesn’t end there.
“Kids can be contagious for that first week, but can be contagious for several weeks after that,” Bansal said.
The Yates’ say the last two weeks have been miserable.
“Especially with [their daughter] — no sleep, fevers, itching, crying,” Lacey said.
Since there is no antibiotic, they just have to let the disease run its course.
“We’re doing everything we can — the oatmeal baths, the calamine lotion,” she said.
The Yates’ think their four-year-old picked up the disease at daycare. They hope parents keep their kids at home like they have.
Dr. Bansal says this disease is fairly common.
He says one way this disease spreads, especially to adults, is by changing diapers.