Learn all about the hand-foot-mouth disease that has left parents on alert in Vitória da Conquista

The Health Department of Vitória da Conquista, in southwest Bahia, issued an alert to parents about the record of hand-foot-mouth cases.

Published on 04/19/2022 at 5:30 am – Updated at 6:30 am Publicity/Cuiabá City Hall Diego Vieira

The return of children to social life, especially in schools, caused widespread outbreaks of the disease known as hand-foot-mouth syndrome, which mainly affects children up to 5 years of age, to appear in the country. This Monday (18), the epidemiological surveillance coordination (Viep) of the Municipal Health Department of Vitória da Conquista, in southwest Bahia, issued an alert to parents about the registration of cases in day care centers and schools in the municipality.

Hand-foot-mouth causes skin irritation, which forms blisters and causes fever, as well as malaise, sore throat and diarrhea.

“We are already making a movement with schools in the municipal network and also in the private network, in a punctual way, for clarification and guidance about childhood diseases and the importance of care to avoid collective transmission”, said the coordinator of Viep de Vitória da Conquest, Amanda Maria Lima.

According to pediatrician Augusto Sampaio, the infection is caused by the Coxsackie virus from the family of enteroviruses that normally inhabit the digestive system. Although it is more common in children, adults can also be affected by the disease.

“It is classified into two groups: “A, which prefers to attack the mouth, skin, eyes and nails, causing injuries, with canker sores being the worst; and B, which attacks the liver, heart, pleura and pancreas, and has 6 subtypes. However, the most common clinical picture is the one that gave the disease its name”, he explains.

Also according to the doctor, one should not wait for the patient’s clinical condition to worsen before looking for a pediatrician. “He is the one who will safely look at the wounds in the mouth, hands and soles of the feet, mainly, and teach them how to take care of them soon, so that a secondary infection by bacteria does not arise. In addition, he will teach how to clean the mouth and give relief to canker sores”, he emphasizes.

Although not considered a serious disease, hand-foot-mouth can, in some cases, cause meningitis and even reach the heart of the infected child.

“Fortunately, most cases evolve to a cure, but the final word has to come from the doctor, obviously, because the infection can cause meningitis and even reach the heart. , without causing more serious side effects”, says the professional.

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Taking into account that there are still many questions about the disease, the BNews listed the main doubts about the syndrome. See below:

What are the main symptoms?

Symptoms can last for a week, when the greatest risk of contagion of the disease occurs. The main signs and symptoms are:

  • High fever in the days before the lesions appear;
  • Appearance of red spots with white-gray blisters in the center, which can progress to very painful ulcerations in the mouth, tonsils and pharynx;
  • Eruption of small blisters, usually on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, and occasionally on the buttocks and genital area;
  • Malaise, lack of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea;
  • Difficulty swallowing and excessive salivation due to pain.

How is the diagnosis made?

The diagnosis is clinical, based on the symptoms, location and appearance of the lesions. There is still no specific treatment for the disease. In general, as with other viral infections, it spontaneously resolves after a few days. Therefore, in most cases, treatment is done with antipyretic and anti-inflammatory drugs. Ideally, the child should remain at rest, drink plenty of fluids and eat well, despite the sore throat.

How does transmission take place?

Transmission occurs via the fecal/oral route, through direct contact between people or with feces, saliva and other secretions, or through contaminated food and objects. Even after recovery, a person can transmit the virus through their feces for approximately four weeks. The incubation period ranges from one to seven days. In most cases, symptoms are mild and can be confused with those of the common cold.

How is the treatment done?

In general, as with other viral infections, it spontaneously resolves after a few days. Therefore, in most cases, only the symptoms are treated. Antiviral drugs are reserved for the most severe cases. Ideally, the patient should remain at rest, drink plenty of fluids and eat well, despite the sore throat.

What is recommended?

  • Coxsackie virus infection does not always cause all the classic symptoms of the syndrome. There are cases in which lesions similar to thrush in the mouth or skin rashes appear; in others, fever and sore throat are the predominant symptoms;
  • Always wash your hands before and after handling the sick child, or taking him to the bathroom. If she can do it herself, urge her to acquire and maintain this habit of hygiene even after she is cured;
  • Avoid, as far as possible, very close contact with the patient (such as hugging and kissing);
  • Maintain an adequate level of hygiene in the home, day care centers and schools;
  • Do not share bottles, cutlery or cups;
  • Keep sick people away from school or work until symptoms disappear (usually 5 to 7 days after symptoms start);
  • Wash surfaces, objects and toys that may come into contact with secretions and feces of sick individuals with soap and water, and then disinfect with a solution of bleach diluted in pure water (1 tablespoon of bleach diluted in 4 glasses of water clean);
  • Properly dispose of diapers and cleaning wipes in closed trash cans.

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