UCHD, Protecting Your Health.


The Union County Health Department received reports of two outbreaks of hand, foot, and mouth disease in Union County at the end of July 2014. The Health Department is encouraging parents to be on the lookout for signs and symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease. 

Hand, foot and mouth disease is a common childhood illness that gets its name from the distinctive rash that appears in the mouth and on the hands and feet. Children with hand, foot and mouth disease develop painful, blister-like bumps in these areas. The condition, which is caused by a virus, most often affects infants and children younger than 5 years old, and is most often seen in the summer and fall.

Hand, foot and mouth disease is not the same as foot-and-mouth disease, which affects cattle, sheep and pigs. Humans can't get the same disease that animals get.


Disease spread

Hand, foot and mouth disease is spread through:

  • Close contact with someone who has the disease
  • Coughing and sneezing
  • Contact with feces, such as when changing diapers
  • Touching objects or surfaces that have the virus on them


Symptoms and diagnosis
Each child will experience symptoms differently.  Here are the most common symptoms to look for:

  • Mild fever and cold-like symptoms, including a sore throat.
  • Painful sores in the mouth (tongue, cheeks and near the throat and tonsils). They begin as small red spots that blister and often become ulcers.
  • Blister-like bumps on the palms of the hands and on the bottoms of the feet. They may also appear on the knees, elbows, buttocks or genital area.

If you suspect your child has hand, foot and mouth disease, make an appointment with your pediatrician. The diagnosis is usually made based on observation of the rash. Your pediatrician will come up with a plan to reduce the severity of the symptoms while the disease runs its course — about seven to 10 days. Because hand, foot and mouth disease is caused by a virus, antibiotics are not effective.


Treatments for hand, foot and mouth disease include:

  • Increased fluid intake to prevent dehydration. Offer your child cool, iced drinks in small amounts throughout the day.
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or ibuprofen (Advil®) to reduce fever.
  • Use of mouthwashes or sprays that numb mouth pain.


The best way to prevent hand, foot and mouth disease is by frequent and thorough hand washing. Make sure you and your children wash your hands after playing outside, handling garbage and changing diapers. If your child does develop hand, foot, and mouth disease, take these steps to prevent further spread of the disease:

  • Wash hands after chaning diapers and contact with nasal secretions, saliva, and broken/seeping blisters.
  • Stay home from work, school and childcare settings while sick.
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, objects and toys.
  • Avoid close contact such as kissing, hugging, and sharing eating utensils.


Information from: The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Published in In the News
Wednesday, 10 February 2016 01:42

Communicable Disease (infectious)

The Union County Health Department has a team of Communicable Disease professionals on staff to answer your questions regarding infectious diseases.  This includes issues like Hepatitis C, Pertussis (Whooping Cough), MRSA, Flu, and Foodborne Diseases such as Salmonella.  Staff members are available Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to answer your questions.  You can reach them by calling the Health Department at 937-642-2053.

Communicable Disease Staff



Topics of Interest 

Zika Virus


Handwashing to Prevent Illness





Helpful Links for Common Public Health Questions

Know-Your-ABCs-A quick look at reportable communicable diseases. (PDF document.)

Lice - Information on Lice and how to treat for and eradicate them.

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye) - Know what to look for and how to avoid the spread.

Knowing your Risk for Hepatitis- An online quiz that in 5 minutes can assess your risk of contracting viral hepatitis.







Published in Disease Prevention