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Hand, Foot And Mouth Virus Hits Chicago Area

Lisa Fielding Lisa Fielding
Lisa Fielding is a news anchor and reporter for Newsradio 780. She...
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CHICAGO (CBS) – It’s a nasty virus, can’t be treated with antibiotics and it’s highly contagious.

“It can spread quickly in the household or in preschool or daycares,” said Infectious Disease Doctor Tina Tan of Lurie children’s Hospital.

She says hand, foot and mouth or the Coxsackievirus is most common in kids under four-years-old.

“93 percent of cases occur in kids under four years of age, about 75 percent of those cases occur in kids under a year-old. You’re looking at a very young population that gets it.”

Tan says they usually see an increase in cases in the summer and early fall when children return to school. Symptoms include fever and lesions in the mouth, hands and feet.

There is no medication. Dr. Tan says it usually resolves itself in about 2-3 weeks.

Mostly young children get the disease. Adults can get it, but most have built an immunity to it over time. And the best way to avoid it is washing your hands and cleaning surfaces that children touch.

Dr. Tan says it’s a normal event but can be trying on a family.

Thousands of cases have been reported in Singapore, India and Hong Kong in the last six months.