In the last month, one medical centre has had at least 10 cases through their doors.
“This is a massive outbreak. What we’ve realised is that parents don’t know what to do and are sending their children to childcare with it,” Bishoy Marcus said.
The My Health GP said if a child has a rash, keep them at home until it dries up.
“While they have blisters that are filled with fluid, keep them at home. Even once they pop, the virus can spread for a few more hours.”
Hand, foot and mouth is a highly contagious viral disease that is most common in children. Symptoms manifest three to seven days after making contact with the virus and it often presents with fevers, sore throat, lethargy and small blisters inside the mouth, hands and feet. It’s not uncommon to find blisters in other areas too.
Dr Marcus said small babies were most concerning if they contracted the virus.
“You have to make sure they’re getting enough fluid as possible because it can be too painful to swallow,” he said.
Treatment for hand, foot and mouth
“We encourage pain relief, anaesthetic gels and lozenges for older children to help with sore throats.
“It can take anywhere from five to seven days to settle down.
“The problem is that if a kid has it takes three to seven days before it manifests itself.”
The best way to keep the virus at bay is good hygiene.
Wash all your towels, bedding and good hand hygiene will stop it from spreading.
While children are most affected, adults can get it and are usually more severe.
What are the signs of a serious infection?
Signs that an infant or older child might have a more serious form of hand, foot and mouth disease include any of the following:
persistent fever (38°C or above for 72 hours or more)
abnormal movements / jerking movements
excessive tiredness, drowsiness
If any of these signs are present then the child should be seen by a doctor urgently even if they have been checked earlier in the illness.
How long should children stay away from childcare and school?
Children with hand, foot and mouth disease should be excluded from school or childcare facilities until their blisters have dried-up, and any rash (if present) has gone and any fever has settled.
Health authorities have also issued a warning over the measles outbreak in western Sydney, with 16 cases so far, and more likely. Read more on that HERE.
Share your comments below