(CBS Local) – A contagious childhood illnesses is reportedly spreading across several states. Doctors are reportedly seeing more and more cases of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD) and children aren’t the only ones being affected.
New Jersey health officials say this outbreak isn’t unusual. There have been 14 outbreaks of HFMD in New Jersey already this year.
The painful virus is marked by small red sores or rashes that appear in the mouth, on the palms of hands and soles of the feet. It’s a common childhood ailment, that spreads like a common cold.
According to multiple reports, doctors are seeing increased cases in Indiana, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
There was even a high-profile case in New York as New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard contracted the disease while appearing at a baseball camp for kids in July.
“We’ve been seeing it all summer and a little bit of an uptick in the last week or two,” Keith Tolar of Deaconess Pediatric Urgent Care in Evansville, Indiana said, via WUSA.
Although HFMD is a common illness among children under the age of five, older children and adults can catch the disease as well. “One or two days after the fever starts, painful sores can develop in the mouth. They usually begin as small red spots, often in the back of the mouth, that blister and can become painful,” the CDC explains.
Hand, Foot, and Mouth, which is often linked to poor hygiene among young children, can be spread through kissing, hugging, or sharing food and drinks. The disease can also be transmitted by coughs, sneezes, or contact with the germs from a baby’s diaper.
Doctors are urging Americans to wash their hands thoroughly, especially after contact with children. HFMD normally lasts between seven and 10 days, however rare cases can turn into viral meningitis or a polio-like paralysis.