Doctors seeing spike in contagious hand, foot and mouth disease as school returns in Houston

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As a parent, it's never easy to see your little ones going through any type of illness, especially one like hand, foot and mouth disease, where it can take up to 10 days to get better.

"(He had) blisters, a lot of uncomfort. Thank gosh we don't have it now," said Kristen Jordan, mother to a 2-year-old that once got what is known as Enterovirus.

"It's difficult once they get blisters. (It means they are) no longer contagious, but that's when they hurt," Jordan said.

"Enteroviruses are more common in children and again children under 10," said Dr. Michael Chang, with Children's Memorial Hermann and UT Health.

Dr. Chang said this time of year there is always a spike, especially when kids go back to school and daycares.

The virus can live up to 10 hours on many hard surfaces.

"The virus is very contagious. It spreads quickly," said Dr. Chang. "It's mostly spread through droplets and secretions."

Adults can get it too, but it's less common.

"If the families know their kid is sick, try to keep them out of school or daycare," Dr. Chang advised.

The doctor said the best way to prevent hand, foot and mouth disease is to practice good hygiene. Make sure your kids wash their hands often and cover their mouth when they cough. Adults should do the same.

"It's just unfortunate when it happens," said Jordan. "You just have to let it run its course."

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