Published Date: 2012-05-08 20:55:24
Subject: PRO/EDR> Hand, foot & mouth disease - USA (02): (NC)
Archive Number: 20120508.1126671
HAND, FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE - USA (02): (NORTH CAROLINA)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Tue 8 Mar 2012
Source: WFMY News 2, digtriad.com [edited]
Slight Outbreak of Hand, Foot, Mouth Disease Reported In Triad
Fever, sores and blisters in your mouth, on your hands and feet, these are painful symptoms of a disease that some pediatricians say is on a rise here in the Triad. It's called hand, foot, and mouth Disease (HFMD). No one knows the extent of the [disease] because doctors don't have to report it to the Health Department or even the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]. But health experts say in rare cases, people may have to be hospitalized and the virus could be deadly.
Within hours of asking News 2 Facebookers if they've seen any sign of the disease, more than 40 people responded, some with pictures of family members recovering. One Kernersville mom also told us her child's daycare had an outbreak last week. "From what I understand there were not many children there on Friday and today," she said. Her daughter hasn't been feeling well since she picked her up from the center last Thursday [3 May 2012]. "You could just tell she wasn't feeling good. We got home, 102-degree fever that night. She developed blisters all over her legs, her behind, and her back and her arms." And as her daughter's pediatrician found out, the blisters also made it to her oesophagus. "From a parent who's never seen it before, it's very scary," said her mother.
At the daycares it spreads from child to child; and at home from child to parent. "My rash got a lot worse than my daughter's did," said another mother whose daughter had just recovered from the virus [infection]. "I've kind of felt dizzy all day." Her forehead, her brow line, into her hairline, and ears were all affected.
The virus spreads through saliva and other bodily fluids and quickly. Once contracted, doctors can't do much for a patient until it runs its course. "It's devastating as a parent because what do you do?" a mother asked rhetorically, saying daughter's doctor gave her a medicinal mouthwash to numb the pain in her throat.
Parents tell us their daycares have notified them about the virus soon after outbreaks. The CDC recommends no shaking hands, hugging and kissing for at least a week after the infection. They also say you should wash your hands often and disinfect surfaces you've touched.
HFMD is often confused with foot-and-mouth disease (or hoof-and-mouth disease), a disease that affects only cattle, sheep, and swine; not humans. Also, HFMD is caused by a completely different and unrelated virus.
[Byline: Faith Abubey]
ProMED-mail from HealthMap alerts
[HFMD occurs globally. In developed countries it is generally a mild disease and often associated with outbreaks of Coxsackie A16 virus infection. In East Asian countries in recent years, the disease often has been associated with outbreaks of Human enterovirus 71 infection and can be more severe, with a small proportion of children experiencing neurological complications, occasionally with fatal outcome. Recently Coxsackie A6 virus has been responsible for an outbreak of HFMD in Alabama. It will be interesting in due course to learn whether there is any linkage between these 2 outbreaks.
The Piedmont Triad is a north-central region of the state of North Carolina that consists of the area within and surrounding the 3 major cities of Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point. The Triad is not to be confused with the "Triangle" region (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill), directly to the east. The location of the Piedmont Triad can be found in the interactive HealthMap at http://healthmap.org/r/2kc_. - Mod.CP]
[One interesting bit of information in the above newswire is that the news station (News 2) used Facebook as a disease surveillance tool, asking News2 Facebook subscribers to report if they had seen signs of the disease. As was demonstrated in the above newswire, in a matter of hours, more information on the numbers of cases as well as institutions involved in the HFMD outbreak was received by the newsgroup soliciting the information.
For those who are not familiar with Facebook, it is one of the social media networks on the internet where individuals "friend" other individuals ("friending" is connecting with others as part of a network of one's friends and acquaintances) as well as join like-minded interest groups such as a newswire or in our case ProMED-mail (yes, there is a ProMED-mail Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ProMEDmail).
In 2011, there was an outbreak of Pontiac fever (legionellosis) identified through the use of a social media network (also Facebook, and also associated with a news reporter using Facebook to learn about the outbreak and identify cases). (see prior ProMED-mail posting Legionellosis - USA: (CA) conference, susp. 20110214.0494 for details).
These 2 events demonstrate the power of the social media as a tool for rapidly learning about disease outbreaks and assisting in validating "rumors" of disease outbreaks in a community. A lesson for all of us interested harnessing technologies for early warnings of emerging and re-emerging infectious disease events. - Mod.MPP]