Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease concerns growing in Tampa Bay area

Kids erupting in blisters, running low-grade fever
Posted at 3:58 PM, Dec 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-16 08:04:58-05

Concerns about Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease are growing in the Tampa Bay area.

Tampa medical workers know of at least one outbreak at a large local daycare and families are reporting their kids have the disease.

In October, there was an outbreak at a Sarasota elementary school. In September, there was anoutbreak at Florida State University. A Jacksonville daycare also reported several cases of the disease.

People with Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease, or HFMD, will find several small water blisters or red spots on their palms, feet and on and around their mouth. They will also often run a low-grade fever of between 100 degrees and 102 degrees. Some people will have trouble eating and drinking because of painful mouth blisters.

It mainly occurs in kids ages six months to 4 years old, doctors said.

It was weeks of misery and canceled plans for the Kucera family from Land O' Lakes when both of her kids came down with HFMD.

"The doctor says it's going to get worse before it gets better," said Trina Kucera, mother to Lucas, 3 and Lily, 11 months.

When her son erupted in the telltale blisters, she knew they were in for a rough few weeks ahead.

"To try and watch every single toy that goes into the mouth and wash hands constantly," Kucera said.

They tried everything to prevent the little girl from contracting it..

"We did our best but then she ended up getting it," Kucera said.

"People get very freaked out about it," said Dr. Marcy Solomon Baker of HealthPoint Medical Group, a pediatrician located in Hyde Park.

She said you should see a doctor if your child is dehydrated after not eating or drinking due to painful mouth sores, not urinating or your child has a fever at or above 104.

Baker also said washing your hands can be the most effective defense.  

"That's the best thing you can do is good hand washing for everybody," Baker said.

The pediatrician said there isn't much that can be prescribed to treat  Hand, Foot and Mouth disease. To make kids more comfortable, she said most kids can take a little Benadryl or Maalox for mouth sores and Tylenol for fever.

Baker said Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease is so common you even necessarily have to isolate kids who get it.

Kucera has no idea where her kids contracted the HFMD.

"It could have been anywhere," she said.

She's just relieved the outbreak in her home is over for now.