WACO (April 24, 2012)--Doctor's offices, clinics, and emergency rooms are seeing an influx of children with hand, foot and mouth disease, according to Waco physician Dr. Tim Martindale.
He says his clinic has diagnosed at least one child everyday for the past three weeks, a trend that's been seen recently across the county.
"I wouldn't be surprised if there's been a couple thousand cases in last few weeks," said Martindale.
The illness is not dangerous, but it can be painful for kids, Dr. Martindale said.
Children under five are most likely to catch it and symptoms include congestion, cough, headache, fever, and sores around the hands, feet and mouth.
Martindale says the highly contagious virus spreads mostly in daycares and schools when children cough, sneeze, or sniffle.
"You touch that or somebody else touches it , you've got it," said Martindale.
He says most cases can be taken care of at home by letting the symptoms run their course.
The best way to prevent your child from catching the disease is to wash their hands regularly.