Be alert for hand, foot and mouth disease in central Indiana, doctors say

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Doctors say hand, foot and mouth disease is spreading through child care centers and preschools across central Indiana. 

Physicians are seeing children come in with rashes on their palms and the souls of their feet. The doctors say that the children occasionally will have sores on the back of their throats or pain when swallowing. 

Some children might even have high fevers. 

In very rare cases, the virus can cause other complications such as meningitis. 

Doctors at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health say younger children have a higher chance of contracting the disease. 

Dr. John Christenson, an infectious disease physician at Riley, said, “Keep in mind that, a lot of these viruses, our immunity to them increases as we age. So, these outbreaks that we see in hand, foot and mouth syndrome are not very commonly reported in schools. Because of an outbreak, they’re usually occurring in younger infants and younger children.”

Christenson said the best way to prevent the virus is by washing hands and wiping down surfaces where diapers are changed. 

If you think your child might have the infection, call your health provider.