Hand, foot, and mouth outbreak in Knoxville

East Tennessee Children’s Hospital West Knoxville Pediatrics tells WVLT news there’s a Hand, foot, and mouth virus outbreak in Knoxville.
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 6:53 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 21, 2022 at 11:07 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Pediatrician Karie McLevain-Wells with East Tennessee Children’s Hospital West Knoxville Pediatrics told WVLT News there’s a hand, foot, and mouth virus outbreak in Knoxville.

“It tends to like the Summer/Fall transitional times where it might be cool during the night and hot or warm during the day. We have seen quite a bit (of cases) over the last few weeks. It seems to have quieted down just a little bit,” shared Wells.

The virus is spread through saliva and droplets released from coughing or sneezing.

Knoxville mom, Maja Ward, said days prior to her 4-year-old daughter Natalie complaining about her feet hurting, she had a brief fever but continued to play as normal.

“She did mention that she maybe had a bug bite on her foot. I looked at it and It looked like a bug bite to me so that’s what we went with. I went to give her a bath and there were quite a few red bumps at the bottom of her feet and that’s when it kinda clicked in my head oh, she definitely has Hand, foot, and mouth,” she said.

Wells said the symptoms of hand, foot, and mouth were often obscure before children develop sores or a rash.

“The initial symptoms can be kind of subtle. In children who might be pre-verbal. They might just be a little fussier than usual or don’t sleep quite as well. Appetites might go down a little bit. They may start to run a fever,” explained Wells.

Although there is no cure, Wells said children’s Tylenol or Motrin can help with the symptoms. She also said the recovery time for the virus is generally around a week.

She also shared that teens and adults can get the virus, but it’s likely the symptoms won’t be as severe as children.