Hand, foot and mouth disease cases up in Kent Co.

Kent County Health Department (March 27, 2014)
Kent County Health Department (March 27, 2014)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – The Kent County Health Department says the number of hand, foot and mouth disease cases has increased in the area.

Symptoms of the disease — which is an extremely contagious virus that’s common in children under the age of 10 but can also affect adults — include sore throat, a non-itchy rash, sores on fingers, palms and soles of feet and blister-like mouth sores, according to the health department.

The uptick in cases has come early this year as the number of cases usually doesn’t increase until August. Health department officials said the cause of the early increase is unknown.

While there is no vaccine for the virus, health officials say it can be prevented by disinfecting toys and surfaces, frequent hand-washing and covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.

The illness, according to the health department, usually lasts seven to 10 days.

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On the web:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Hand, foot and mouth disease

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