Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New strain of hand, foot and mouth virus worries parents, pediatricians

Date:
August 24, 2012
Source:
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Summary:
Your child goes to bed in perfect health. The next morning she wakes up with high fever, malaise and bright red blisters erupting all over her body. Dermatologists say the disturbing scenario has become quite common in the last few months, sending scared parents to their pediatrician’s office or straight to the emergency room.

Your child goes to bed in perfect health. The next morning she wakes up with high fever, malaise and bright red blisters erupting all over her body. Johns Hopkins Children's Center dermatologists say the disturbing scenario has become quite common in the last few months, sending scared parents to their pediatrician's office or straight to the emergency room.

Bernard Cohen, M.D., director of pediatric dermatology at Johns Hopkins Children's Center, and colleague Kate Puttgen, M.D., have seen or consulted on close to 50 such cases in the last few months and have received countless phone calls from scared parents and concerned physicians. Cohen believes this number may be just the tip of the iceberg with primary care pediatricians seeing the bulk of new cases.

Cohen and Puttgen want to reassure parents that most cases of the disease are benign and that nearly all patients recover in seven to 10 days without treatment and without serious complications.

"What we are seeing is relatively common viral illness called hand-foot-and-mouth disease but with a new twist," Cohen says.

The culprit is an unusual strain of the common coxsackie virus that usually causes the disease. The new strain, coxsackie A6, previously found only in Africa and Asia, is now cropping up all over the United States.

The coxsackie virus strikes infants and children under age 5 in the summer and autumn months. Symptoms include fever and malaise and, a day or two later, a non-itchy skin rash with flat or raised red spots on the hands and feet and/or mouth sores. The new strain, however, behaves somewhat differently from its homegrown cousin, Cohen says. It carries a slightly higher risk for more serious illness and more widespread rash that can involve the arms, legs, face and diaper area. The new strain also seems to affect older as well as younger children.

"We've talked with many of our pediatric dermatology colleagues around the country and the number of cases and the severity of the rash is clearly new and different from the typical hand, foot and mouth disease we are used to seeing," adds Puttgen. "The good news is that it looks bad but hasn't actually caused severe symptoms for our patients."

The new virus can also cause a rash that mimics lesions of herpes simplex virus, which requires treatment with antivirals.

"It can look like disseminated herpes simplex, and parents may panic if they don't know what it is," Cohen says. "But unlike herpes simplex, this rash evolves very fast. It's bad for a few days and then gets better very quickly without any treatment at all."

To reduce the spread of the virus, Cohen and Puttgen advise frequent hand washing and good general hygiene. Pediatricians need not refer patients to a specialist if they recognize the rash for what it is and if the child is otherwise healthy, they say. "If the child has low-grade fever, but is otherwise well, waiting and watching is appropriate," Cohen says. "If the child is having problems with feeding or drinking or acting ill, it's time to call the doctor." Specifically, Cohen says, children with immune deficiencies, cancer or other serious illness should be followed closely by their pediatrician to avoid or promptly treat any complications.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Medicine. "New strain of hand, foot and mouth virus worries parents, pediatricians." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120824111441.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Medicine. (2012, August 24). New strain of hand, foot and mouth virus worries parents, pediatricians. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120824111441.htm
Johns Hopkins Medicine. "New strain of hand, foot and mouth virus worries parents, pediatricians." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120824111441.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 20, 2014) — A patient who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus is in isolation at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — A 111-year-old Japanese was certified as the world's oldest man by Guinness World Records on Wednesday. Sakari Momoi, a native of Fukushima in northern Japan, was given a certificate at a hospital in Tokyo. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Residents of Sierra Leone's capital voice their fears as the Ebola virus sweeps through west Africa. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins