What's Going Around

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Two viruses that affect kids are going around this week. They sound scary, but they're fairly common. Children usually recover in seven 10 to days.

Nurse Practitioner Linda Eckerson at McLaren Greater Lansing- DeWitt Family Medicine is treating hand, foot and mouth disease.

It begins with a fever, poor appetite, and sore throat. Mouth sores and/or a non-itchy rash on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet will follow.

Make sure your child is getting enough fluids to prevent dehydration. Avoid spicy or acidic foods because they will make the mouth sores more painful. Give your kids acetaminophen, not aspirin, for fever.

If symptoms don't improve in a week, see a doctor.

Nurse Practitioner Eckerson is also treating patients this week with fifth disease.

Symptoms are fever, runny nose, and headache at first. Then a bright red rash will appear on the cheeks and spread across the body. There may also be pain or swelling in the joints.

Get lots of rest, drink fluids, and eat healthy foods. See a doctor if your child develops a widespread rash that's accompanied by other symptoms, or if you get pregnant and are exposed to someone with fifth disease.

Fifth disease is usually seen in kids between five and 15 years old, although adults can get it, too.

It's most common in early spring.

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