By Dr. Brian McDonough

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It is called Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease and it does earn its descriptive name. The viral infection is very common this time of year.

Many cases are being reported. It usually affects infants and children younger than five.

It starts with a fever, poor appetite and sore throat and in a few days painful sores develop in the mouth.

A classic skin rash develops over one to two days which is usually on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet.

Hand, Foot, and Mouth is spread through close personal contact, droplets from coughing or sneezing, contamination through dirty diapers.

A person can lower their risk of becoming infected by washing their hands often with soap and water. In some cases, dehydration becomes a problem because children’s mouths hurt and it’s tough to drink.