Hand, foot and mouth disease cases spike in summer months, doctors warn

A warning for families getting ready to go back to school -- hand foot and mouth disease is on the rise in communities across the country.

Three high school football players in Ravenna, Ohio, have hand, foot and mouth disease, WEWS reports. Parents were notified on Monday and the school’s football program reportedly canceled its football training camp.

Doctors in Richmond, Virginia, are also seeing a spike in the number of cases, WWBT reported.

Dr. Melissa Aquilo with Patient First told WWBT the disease is often spread where large groups of children congregate -- like schools, playgrounds and day cares. 

Adults can develop flu-like symptoms, including sore throat and fever.

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Hand, foot and mouth disease is highly contagious and can cause painful red bumps all over the body, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

While there is no cure, it usually runs its course in most people within three to 10 days, the CDC states.

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Once someone has contracted the painful virus, doctors can only treat symptoms, Aquilo told WWBT.

Doctors with the CDC state that the best way to prevent Hand Foot and Mouth Disease is to wash hands frequently and keep children home and away from others if they appear to be sick. 

Aquilo said it’s important to disinfect common areas and kids’ toys as well. 

“They share their toys. Their toys have their germs on it. They don't wash their hands as well as most adults should,” Aquilo said. “(If they) put a toy in their mouth and set the toy down and another child plays with it, we'll see a little outbreak in day cares in that kind of situation.”

The CDC warns that people can still be contagious days after they begin to feel better and recommends to check with the doctor to see how long is necessary to stay away from others. 

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