The first notice of the epidemic outbreak was in the western District of Columbia where healthcare professionals have been warning individuals since Monday. Healthcare forums didn’t become available to the public until last night but have circulated enough to send out information.

If you see small dots, it's time to go to the doctor

Since last night, there has been a nationalized report streaming around the internet in regards to rashes over the hands, feet, and mouth of numerous people. If you have noticed numerous small dots on you or your loved one, including children, seek medical attention immediately.

Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

Hand, foot, mouth disease is commonly known as “hfmd” and is a disease found in all age groups, but is exceptionally common in children aged five and younger. This disease is not fatal and there have not been any reports of the disease becoming deadly.

Symptoms to watch for

Symptoms to look out for include, fever, sore throat, reduced appetite, generalized malaise, sores in the mouth that look like flatter red spots and blister type sores that originate from the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, knees, elbows, buttocks, and sometimes even the genital area.

Make sure to stay hydrated

Dehydration is a major concern of HFMD with sores in the mouth it makes it difficult to swallow liquids.

If you or your loved one shows signs of HFMD it is smart to stay away from spicy and/or acidic foods which would make it even more uncomfortable.

Extremely contagious disease

This is a contagious disease, which usually cures itself within a week to ten days without the need to see your healthcare professional. This disease is easily spread because it is airborne.

Having close contact with someone who already has the disease makes it more likely for you or your child to contract it. Try to avoid touching your eyes or mouth with unwashed hands.

Symptoms in adults are sometimes not noticeable

Adults may not develop any symptoms but still can spread the virus to others. People who have hand, foot and mouth are most contagious during the first seven days of being ill, but still can remain contagious for weeks after their symptoms subside.

Hygiene is most important

There is no vaccine or magic pill that will cure HFMD, however as long as you keep regular daily hygiene, and use proper hand washing techniques there's less likely a chance to become a victim of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease. During this epidemic, it is imperative to keep good hand washing techniques and maintain good hygiene. Let's all hope that this epidemic passes quickly.