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My Experience with Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (Coxsackievirus A-16)

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posted on Nov, 6 2014 @ 07:59 AM
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Greetings ATS,


I decided to create a thread dedicated to this very nasty little bug as I am currently suffering from it as a 31 year old male (my age will be important later).


What is HFM?

It is a common human syndrome caused by Coxsackievirus A-16, which is the most common strain of this virus. Enterovirus 71 (EV-71) is the second most common cause of HFM. It is spread through direct contact with mucus, saliva, or feces of infected individuals.

HFM is commonly found in daycare centers, pre-schools, and kindergartens during the summer and fall months. It is normally found in children ages five and below, however, it can be transmitted to young adults, and even older adults on rare occasion (I guess I'm the rare occasion). HFM's incubation period is 3-6 days with onset of symptoms within 24 hours of the last day of incubation. It works fast.

What does HFM do to the body?

HFM starts off as a "mock" flu. A spike of temperature usually in the 101-103 range is the start of it, along with a sore throat and what looks like strep pustulars at the back of the throat, on tonsils, and on the back of the tongue. Lack of hunger/thirst and lethargy accompanies the other symptoms. Within 48 hours of the "flu" symptoms, small flat red bumps begin appearing on the palms of hands, on the soles of feet, and in some cases, around the mouth, and in the mouth. These eventually raise like small blisters and fill with fluid. At this point, in many cases, all of the flu symptoms disappear and one is left with the painful little bumps. From the beginning of the symptoms to the end is roughly 7-10 days with the blisters drying up and hanging around for a few days after the illness is completely gone.

In rare cases it has been known to cause other more serious symptoms that affect organ systems.

How to prevent HFM

Obviously, hand washing, sanitizing, and other normal methods are somewhat effective at limiting the spread of this virus. Making sure to keep your child home from school when showing symptoms is also a very effective methods.

This is currently no vaccination or cure for this strain of virus. There have been efforts to create a vaccine, but there isn't one commercially available. You gotta wait it out.

Relief from HFM

Ibuprofen/Acetaminophen alternated every five hours for fever and pain relief and benadryl for the itching. If mouth pain is severe enough (mine didn't get to that point), you may wish to have your MD prescribe "magic mouthwash" which is a combo of several analgesics that can be swished around to provide relief. For the blisters, many people have reported that the only relief comes from using cold substances on the hands and feet (ice, frozen veggies, etc.). I didn't have much success with topicals applied to the sites of the blisters, and it seems that that is the case with many adults who have suffered from this bug. For your little ones, many have reported that oatmeal baths have provided relief (much like relief from the chickenpox), as well as cool foods, foods high in fat, etc. for eating/drinking.

The most important thing is to stay hydrated because if one does develop sores in the mouth, they are extremely painful and make it hard to eat/drink anything.



So how did I get it?

I'm a preschool teacher. This is my first time working with kids this young and I have never had this condition, or even heard of it, before I entered this program. Typically, adults won't contract it. With all of the germs and bugs that typically go around in a school, my immune system was working in overdrive to fight everything else off. This made it a virus of opportunity in my body.

Oh, and it sucks.


The symptoms vary from person to person, and from what I have read from anecdotal accounts, kids rebound much faster than adults from this disease. I can tell you that I have a minimum of 40-50 red bumps in varying sizes on each of my hands, and several very large blisters on the bottoms of my feet. The first day of the breakout, my hands and feet burned like nothing I have ever felt before. Burning hot pins and needles is the only thing I can compare it to. The only thing that brought relief was ice cold water and frozen vegetable bags applied directly to the affect areas. As I type this now, the burning is gone, but the bumps are a pain in the butt. Some have started to dry up already, while others are still forming. I was given a medical release from work duties until Monday, which is about how long it will take for this to clear up.

Overall, I wouldn't wish this thing on my worst enemy, and I hope that this is the last time that I am affected by it.


Important links/resources

Wiki Article

CDC Website

Mayo Clinic

Picture links

HFM in Adult Male

HFM in Toddler

News Sources for Outbreaks

KSPR- Springfield, MO

Times Dispatch- Richmond, VA

KRNV- Reno, NV


The news sources are only a small snippet of what I have found across the country, however, many of the medical professionals interviewed for these stories have said that the outbreak has been much bigger and much more widespread than in years past. While HFM is very inconvenient to have, it isn't serious in the overwhelming majority of cases. My question is why this year has been marked with this disease?

If I have forgotten anything, let me know. I did my best to give a comprehensive look at this disease.


If you or your kids have suffered from this, please comment and let us know. How did you deal with it personally?


Thanks for reading.


-TS




posted on Nov, 6 2014 @ 08:07 AM
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a reply to: truthseeker1984

First of all I'd like to give you a bit of sympathy as I had the chickenpox at 34 and I was in the intensive care unit for 2 weeks with it. It really sucks to get hit by something like that. Who ever it was that named Coxsackievirus has a wicked sense of humor. I hope you get better soon.

edit on 6-11-2014 by weirdguy because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 6 2014 @ 08:08 AM
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a reply to: truthseeker1984

Sorry to hear you are having to deal with this terrible bug.

Both my kids got it a few years back and it was a nightmare!

Their poor little mouths were so effected by it, they could barely eat anything for days.

Popsicles! They ate nothing but popsicles. That's the only thing they could eat without it hurting.

Hope you get better soon.



posted on Nov, 6 2014 @ 08:16 AM
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a reply to: weirdguy

I was lucky. I got it three times as a kid. Hopefully I have a good immunity to it now.

Much like many "kid diseases" if you get them as an adult, the effects are magnified 100x. Chickenpox is horrible as an adult. I've had a few friends that spent the same stint in the ICU because of it.

Thanks for the well wishes! I'm just bummed that even though I now have a five day paid vacation, I can't do anything with it! Just me and the dog at home right now. Wife is at work.

I guess I'll be breaking out Netfilx and getting caught up on Breaking Bad (I haven't seen the whole series!).


-TS



posted on Nov, 6 2014 @ 08:18 AM
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a reply to: MagesticEsoteric

Poor little pumpkins! I was fortunate to not get the mouth sores. When I initially got the sore throat (before the blisters came out), I was treating it as a strep infection and started breaking out the apple cider vinegar and the garlic tincture that I make. I have a feeling that it burned out the infection in the throat, preventing me from getting the sores.


Thanks!




-TS



posted on Nov, 6 2014 @ 08:21 AM
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a reply to: truthseeker1984

Wow. It's threads like this that remind us we live in an opportunist, biological world.

I hope you're better soon.

The good news is you don't have Ebola!

There's a great new book out there called "Mother Nature Is Trying to Kill You" and the author outlines how opportunistic mother earth is.



At every turn, it seems, living things are trying to eat us, poison us, use our bodies as their homes, or have us spread their eggs. In Mother Nature Is Trying to Kill You, Riskin is our guide through the natural world at its most gloriously ruthless.


Might be an interesting read while you're hanging out and getting well!



posted on Nov, 6 2014 @ 08:35 AM
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a reply to: truthseeker1984
Much thanks for sharing your story and hope things get better for you.




The news sources are only a small snippet of what I have found across the country, however, many of the medical professionals interviewed for these stories have said that the outbreak has been much bigger and much more widespread than in years past. While HFM is very inconvenient to have, it isn't serious in the overwhelming majority of cases. My question is why this year has been marked with this disease?


Yes, why now did it pop up? To throw it out there conspiracy wise: Plum Island facility-Bio Lab, Zoonotic Dxs, etc recently moved to the Mid West-Manhattan, Kansas- KSU campus.

Also, as there no vaccine for it, maybe so many cases were needed to study and or help promote a vaccine.



posted on Nov, 6 2014 @ 08:43 AM
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a reply to: truthseeker1984

Cox....Sackie.....virus

WOW....What an entertaining name for a terrible thing!! I believe my best friend had this 2 weeks ago! His doctor had no clue what it was though but all of your symptoms describe his "situation" very recently!

He went to the ER for help and nobody there knew either....But he had to wait it out, it took almost 2 full weeks of this!! He couldn't even drink alcohol and if you knew him, that is like telling someone they can't breathe!! But anyways, his mom said to take a shot of whiskey for the pain in the mouth and fever and all of that stuff so he broke out the crown and took 2 shots, he said it immediately helped him....Probably half withdraw and half helped, but you can try it also as it is an old school remedy for things like this in the mouth/head/fever stuff...Keep us posted!! Best of luck!! It WILL get better...



posted on Nov, 6 2014 @ 08:46 AM
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My grandchildren have both gotten it. From, you guessed it, daycare - and they go to a very expensive and super good daycare. This disease knows no boundaries. My daughter, their Aunt, caught it from them at 22, and she really suffered.

They both have had it more than once over the past 3-6 years.

I don't think there is a resurgence, it just loves environments where children snot everything.

For awhile I called my grandkids (lovingly to my grandparent friends only) little germ factories.



posted on Nov, 6 2014 @ 08:48 AM
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My daughter teaches in a poor school district here in central Texas.
They had several cases about a month ago.
They were told to wash their hands often.



posted on Nov, 6 2014 @ 08:52 AM
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originally posted by: grandmakdw
My grandchildren have both gotten it. From, you guessed it, daycare - and they go to a very expensive and super good daycare. This disease knows no boundaries. My daughter, their Aunt, caught it from them at 22, and she really suffered.

They both have had it more than once over the past 3-6 years.

I don't think there is a resurgence, it just loves environments where children snot everything.

For awhile I called my grandkids (lovingly to my grandparent friends only) little germ factories.


They really ARE little germ factories! I don't think it matters if you are in a daycare in the worst neighborhood in Detroit, or the most expensive, most private daycare in the country, it crosses all boundaries.

I clean everything, everyday. Lysol, straight bleach, and a bleach mixture for surfaces where mealtime occurs, and yet this stuff still gets spread around. The problem is that a kid or adult can be a carrier and NEVER show symptoms, which is usually how it makes it way into a school.

One of the news reports that I posted said that an entire public school K-6 was shut down for a day because 25% of the school population was out with this virus. That's big news if it's starting to happen all over the country.

Thanks for sharing your story!


-TS



posted on Nov, 6 2014 @ 08:53 AM
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Having young children, I have heard about this hitting kids hard this year. There is a major epidemic EVERYWHERE. Although no one in the media is talking about it.

I feel for you. Ten years ago, I had fifths disease as an adult & it about put me in the hospital. Childhood diseases suffered as adults are horrible!



posted on Nov, 6 2014 @ 09:40 AM
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a reply to: truthseeker1984
I work in a hospital, and it made the rounds there earlier this year. I didn't suffer as bad as some of my colleagues, but it was no picnic.
What got me mad was that our chef and the doctor that treated the first few cases decided not to tell us the truth about what it was, to avoid people panicking about contagion. They claimed the first two were allergic reactions, by the time I got it (I was the fourth) I was conviced it was contagious and found it on the Internet. I finally got them to admit it in front of everyone.

It's not serious, but it can be pretty bad for some people.



posted on Nov, 6 2014 @ 10:23 AM
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My kids used to get it at day care. They were miserable. I didn't know adults could catch it.

We used to call it hoof and mouth disease.



posted on Nov, 6 2014 @ 10:35 AM
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originally posted by: Bedlam
My kids used to get it at day care. They were miserable. I didn't know adults could catch it.

We used to call it hoof and mouth disease.


Hoof and mouth disease is a separate disease that only affects cloven-hoofed animals. It cannot be transmitted to humans.

I don't mean to correct you out of rudeness, but it has to be made clear that they are not the same illness.


-TS



posted on Nov, 6 2014 @ 10:41 AM
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originally posted by: truthseeker1984

originally posted by: Bedlam
My kids used to get it at day care. They were miserable. I didn't know adults could catch it.

We used to call it hoof and mouth disease.


Hoof and mouth disease is a separate disease that only affects cloven-hoofed animals. It cannot be transmitted to humans.

I don't mean to correct you out of rudeness, but it has to be made clear that they are not the same illness.
-TS


Well, duh. But it's what we used to call hand foot and mouth, all the same.

And actually, you CAN catch hoof and mouth. And you can carry it and infect animals. In a human, you get some little blisters on your lips and a fever and that's it. It's really hard to contract, though.
edit on 6-11-2014 by Bedlam because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 6 2014 @ 11:30 AM
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My nieces have gotten it several times. Their mother, my sister in law, is fanatical about keeping them from sick children, but hers catch more crap than any other kids I've seen! My kids have never come down with it, even when exposed to the infected cousins.

I'll go knock on wood that it avoids them this season !



posted on Nov, 6 2014 @ 11:37 AM
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a reply to: truthseeker1984

I had this one and it's every bit as soul crushing as you describe. Huge sores in my throat for 3 solid weeks. Dropped 15 lbs.

painful bumps on hands and feet for 1 week.

I gargled with a solution of hydrogen peroxide to keep the viral output of the open sores to a minimum. I just let the fever and bumps run their course. It was a drag. I got secondary bronchitis afterward, although I was able to muddle through without missing more than 3 days work. I was very careful not to spread this at work.

My child brought it home from preschool and was back to new in 1 week. I was back to new in 6 weeks.

I believe once you are recovered, you have added resistance but not immune.



posted on Nov, 6 2014 @ 01:11 PM
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My daughter has had hfm once per year for the past 2 years. She caught it at the babysitter and lasted about 3 weeks. My only advice, stock up on some ensure or some type of liquid dietary supplement. If it gets in your mouth you will have a hard time eating. I've heard hfm symptoms are worse for adults than children, good luck!



posted on Nov, 6 2014 @ 03:08 PM
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originally posted by: ckhk3
My daughter has had hfm once per year for the past 2 years. She caught it at the babysitter and lasted about 3 weeks. My only advice, stock up on some ensure or some type of liquid dietary supplement. If it gets in your mouth you will have a hard time eating. I've heard hfm symptoms are worse for adults than children, good luck!


I've been very fortunate to not get it in my mouth or throat. I was gargling with apple cider vinegar and chomping on garlic during the onset of the initial symptoms (before I knew it was HFM). I'm going to credit that with keeping it from getting to my mouth.

As a small update, the bumps have started to flatten out throughout the day and some of them have even begun to dry out. My hands aren't burning anymore, but my feet are still in a decent amount of pain because I have a few quarter-sized spots on the soles of my feet.

I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.


-TS




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