IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (WZMQ) – In the wake of a heart-wrenching incident where a 2-year-old boy had to be airlifted following a seizure at the children’s museum, the Dickinson-Iron Health Department has grappled with the outbreak of a rare enterovirus, also known as Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease. This situation has been compounded by the fact that this enterovirus is not classified as a reportable disease, making it incredibly challenging to pinpoint the number of cases within the area. While the virus is usually not very severe, it is highly contagious.
The virus, with its deceptive incubation period lasting 3 to 5 days, has rendered detection elusive during this crucial time frame, as individuals may not exhibit any symptoms. These symptoms, when they do manifest, range from fever, cough, mouth sores, to skin rashes, and blisters, predominantly appearing on the hands and feet. The Dickinson-Iron Health Department has urgently advised frequent handwashing as the first line of defense to curtail the contagion, especially in places like daycare centers and children’s museums. The virus can also shed in human feces for several weeks, so for those changing diapers, this makes handwashing especially critical.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), contracting Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease is as simple as having the virus on one’s hands and subsequently touching the eyes, nose, or mouth. As a preventative measure, it is crucial not to touch these areas with unwashed hands.
This affliction, although more commonly found in children under the age of 5, can affect anyone. Reports indicate that at least three schools in the two counties affected have experienced recent outbreaks of the enterovirus, known by its common name, Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease. One school remains optimistic, believing that the virus has run its course, while another school has identified approximately 15 to 20 cases, with only one severe enough to result in blistering. The third school, however, has yet to confirm the number of cases reported within its premises.
The Dickinson-Iron Health Department will update WZMQ if any new information becomes available.
For more information on the enterovirus, also known as Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease, visit: