Along with the twinkling lights and festive music, come a number of viral illnesses including Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and Hand, Foot, and Mouth (HFM) Disease. Understanding RSV & HFM disease this holiday season can help protect you and your family from unwanted sickness. Learn more about these unwanted illnesses to stay safe this winter!
Understanding RSV & HFM Disease
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a viral illness that usually causes mild symptoms, including cough and congestion. Some people, especially very young children, older adults, and people with lung disease are at risk for more serious infection. Call your doctor right away if you notice increased difficulty breathing or worsening symptoms.
Understanding HFM Disease:
Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease is common among young school-age children and typically causes fevers, mouth sores, and rashes, typically on the hands and feet.
Since viruses cause both RSV and Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease, antibiotics will not help. Unless contraindicated, take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for relief of fever or body aches. Drink plenty of fluids, especially water. Contact your primary care physician for advice specific to your health needs.
Understanding What You Can Do
Prevention is always the best treatment. Washing your hands regularly, avoiding touching your face, and covering any coughs or sneezes are great ways to protect yourself and others. If you’re sick, stay home from work or school.
While there is no vaccine for RSV and HFM, you can protect yourself with vaccinations for the flu and COVID. Call your doctor today to discuss what vaccinations are recommended for you.
Learn more about the author:
This blog was written by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Angela Hogue.
Dr. Hogue’s Story:
Joining Primary Health Network in 2016, Dr. Angela Hogue served as the lead medical physician for Greenville Community Health Center. While providing quality care, she was responsible for piloting clinical initiatives and developing several new community programs. Dr. Hogue earned her medical degree from Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, and completed her family practice residency training at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital Department of Family and Community Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, where she also served as chief resident.