Pink’s son has hand, foot, and mouth disease — here’s what to know about the common but ‘highly contagious’ illness

Pink’s 20-month old son Jameson has come down with a case of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD), according to an Instagram post published by her husband Carey Hart on Tuesday.

Pink, Hart, and their children Willow and Jameson are currently traveling the world on Pink’s “Beautiful Trauma” tour.

“Wanna know how glamorous tour can be? Jameson has hand, foot, and mouth; and willow has a 102 temp,” Hart wrote on Instagram. “Both kids laid up and mama [Pink] still has to push through and do shows.”

 

A post shared by Carey Hart (@hartluck) on Aug 28, 2018 at 2:37am PDT

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The photo shows a smattering of red spots around Jameson’s mouth and on his fingers and legs. It’s a classic symptom of HFMD — an illness that emergency physician Dr. Travis Stork characterized as “highly contagious” in an interview with People.com. The good news is that HFMD is usually mild and clears up on its own. Here’s what you should know about it.

It’s caused by a virus and is common in young kids

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A doctor examines a girl for signs of hand, foot, and mouth disease.
Joe Tan/Reuters

Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) is caused by a virus— most often one called Coxsackievirus A16 — and it typically infects children under 5 years old, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It can be transmitted by an infected person’s saliva and nasal mucus, blister fluid, or feces.

HFMD usually begins with symptoms like a sore throat, fever, and reduced appetite. One to two days later, it can cause painful sores in the mouth and a rash on the hands and feet (hence the “hand, foot, and mouth” name). This rash can also crop up on the knees, elbows, buttocks, or genital area, the CDC website adds. But some people who get HMFD experience no symptoms at all, even though they’re still contagious.

People who have the infection are usually contagious for the first week, and should stay home while they’re sick, the CDC says.

There’s no specific treatment — most people get better on their own

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A child with hand, foot, and mouth disease.
Donald Chan/Reuters

There’s no treatment for HFMD, and symptoms typically go away within seven to 10 days, according to the Mayo Clinic. In the meantime, infected people can treat their symptoms with pain-relieving and fever-reducing drugs, and over-the-counter mouthwashes or mouth sprays that numb pain.

There is some risk for complications, however. The most common one is dehydration. Painful mouth sores may make it difficult to swallow enough fluid, and in cases of severe dehydration, IV fluids might be needed, the Mayo Clinic website adds.

 

HFMD may cause viral meningitis (swelling of the membranes and fluid around the brain and spinal cord) or encephalitis (swelling of the brain), according to the Mayo Clinic, but these serious complications are rare. In the majority of cases, symptoms are mild and HFMD just goes away with time.

There are a few ways to reduce the risk of getting it

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Frequent hand-washing reduces your risk of getting hand, foot, and mouth disease.
Shutterstock

Right now there’s no vaccine to protect against HFMD, but a few simple habits can reduce the risk of contracting it, according to the CDC: Disinfect frequently-touched surfaces, avoid close contact with people who have HFMD, and wash your hands with soap and water, especially after changing diapers or using the bathroom. Just be sure you’re washing them the right way.

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