Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease on the Rise in North Texas
With the beginning of summer well underway, I have seen many kiddos in the office with a very typical summer rash. It’s a rash that usually appears on the hands, feet, and around the mouth, giving it the name Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD). It’s caused by a group of enteroviruses that are common in the summer months. While this big group of viruses can cause more serious illnesses, this presentation of illness is typically mild and commonly infects infants and toddlers. While it can affect older children and adults, it is less common and these individuals typically have milder symptoms of the disease, if any.
The most common symptom of HFMD is the rash for which the disease is named. The rash usually begins as tiny little red dots that get bigger and then look like small blisters. The areas that are typically affected include the skin around the mouth, mucous membranes inside the mouth (including tongue/back of throat), hands (including the palms) and feet (including the soles), as well as buttock and diaper area.
Other symptoms of HFMD include fever, runny nose and sore throat. Like all other viruses, treatment involves supportive care and caring for symptoms, including the use of fever-reducing medications as well as pain control. While rash is typically not bothersome or painful, the lesions in the mouth can cause sore throat or mouth pain. There is no particular treatment necessary for the rash, as it will typically self-resolve within two weeks. It is important to watch for any spots that look like they are oozing or not healing well because secondary bacterial infections can occur. If you have any worries, call your pediatrician as we can usually diagnose this by examining your child and getting a history of the symptoms.
Get to know Bianka Soria-Olmos, D.O.
Dr. Soria-Olmos is a Cook Children's pediatrician in Haslet. She was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, so Cook Children's has always had a special place in her heart. She came to know Cook Children's when she was just a kid herself. She went to the medical center a number of times with her active younger brother, who needed care following several mishaps with broken bones. The visits inspired her to decide, "I want to be a Cook Children’s doctor one day."
In pursuit of her dream, Dr. Soria-Olmos attended Texas Christian University (TCU) for a degree in biology and to fulfill the pre-medical school requirements. After graduating from TCU, she chose to stay local and attended medical school at University of North Texas Health Science Center/Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Worth. She completed part of her pediatric clerkship at Cook Children's, learning about pediatric medicine by attending rounds with pediatric hospitalists. It was then she knew she wanted to be a pediatrician.
She began her career with Cook Children's in 2014 as a pediatric hospitalist caring for sick children admitted to the hospital. Today, she works at Cook Children's primary care office in Haslet. Her special interests include child safety, child development and asthma.