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  1. #1
    BDKmom is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Default How long is HFM contagious?

    Any idea how long hand, foot and mouth disease is contagious? DS had a fever last Tuesday or Wednesday, first bumps on his face on Wednesday, lots of bumps Thursday, blisters on hands, feet and mouth starting Friday morning. Pedi diagnosed, but was vague as to how long he will be contagious. We let our sitter know, but not sure how long to tell her to stay away. She's a college kid who has been sitting for us for the summer, and goes back to school the middle of next week. She, understandably, doesn't want to get this right as she is going back to school, but I really need her as much as possible this week. For today, she is helping out with DD while DS goes to Grandma's house. How long until you guys think she can be around DS? FWIW, she was exposed to him last Wed and Thurs, before we knew what he had.
    DS - Feb 2010
    DD - May 2012

  2. #2
    SnuggleBuggles is online now Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    I thought that only while they had the fever?
    ds1 '02
    ds2 '07

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnuggleBuggles View Post
    I thought that only while they had the fever?


    That's what I heard.

    As long as the blisters in his mouth aren't causing drooling and his temp stays down without the aid of fever-reducers, he ought to be fine.

    DD had it in June and she never got defined blisters on her hands or feet, but she had a crazy fever that followed flesh-colored bumps on her legs. I think she had blisters in her mouth because she woke up screaming overnight a few days after her fever. And she spent the entire next day on my lap.

    I took her to the pediatrician and she said to keep her home from daycare the following day but she'd be OK to go back the day after that.
    ==========================================
    Liz
    1st-time Mom to DD (3/2010)

    "Make mistakes! Get messy!" - Miss Frizzle

  4. #4
    okinawama is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    After my son had it I could not find a strait answer on this! Some said that it was only contagious during the 3-4 days PRIOR to the fever, some said only while they had the fever and others said until the sores completely dried and scabbed over ( 3 different answers from a pediatrician, nurse pratitioner and a friend who is a school nurse)

    In the end, we waited until the sores were scabbed over. My ped said that the fluid inside the sores is contagious, so when they break open the fluid drains and you have it everywhere.

  5. #5
    mikala is online now Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    I remember reading conflicting info about contagion but I'd see the risk to the babysitter as slim as long as she's really diligent about washing her hands frequently, especially before eating and after any toilet activities. I think I read that children can shed the virus in their stools for weeks.

  6. #6
    Minnifer is online now Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Default Camp - WWYD?

    Ugh, I was just researching this online myself and finding completely conflicting info. DS (14 mos) has/had it - spiked a fever last Monday (so 1 week ago) and got some sores the next day that are mostly healed up now - it seemed to be a pretty mild case. On Saturday DD (4 yo) got a bunch of spots on her hands, a few on her soles and 2 small ones around the outside of her mouth. No fever and the spots are small and not even blister-y and she feels 100% fine. I kept her home from camp today (we stayed home/in all day yesterday too) as a precaution b/c I couldn't figure this out - when I see camp/school guidelines online they all say keep home while acute, but it's confusing b/c she hasn't really been acute at all! When I spoke w/the ped she said contagious until 24 hours post fever OR 3-5 days after the sores inside the mouth heal - but neither kid seems to have had any sores inside mouth...

    So, b/c DD has no fever, and no sores inside her mouth, does this mean she can go to camp tomorrow??? (ETA: it's an arts camp, so mostly indoor arts & crafts w/a little outside playground time). It's driving me crazy having her home b/c my only time to get ANYTHING done is when she's at camp in the mornings...
    Last edited by Minnifer; 08-06-2012 at 11:37 AM.
    Lucky single mama to DD 5/08 and DS 6/11

  7. #7
    vonfirmath is online now Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnuggleBuggles View Post
    I thought that only while they had the fever?
    Our doctor told us to stay away until all the blisters have popped and scabbed over. That unlike most diseases, this one is contagious through the popped blister as well.
    Married 3/04
    DS 8/07
    DD born 8/11

  8. #8
    Tondi G is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Our ped told our neighbors that they should quarantine their DD for a week when they figured out she had HFM. She was pretty miserable for 4 or 5 days with the fever and painful sores in her mouth.

  9. #9
    BDKmom is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    So, if the blisters no longer have fluid, are they ok, or do they actually get a crusty scab? Right now they are just dry red spots, buy I wouldn't say they are scabbed.

    Sitter stayed with DD again today, but I would like her back with DS tomorrow.
    DS - Feb 2010
    DD - May 2012

  10. #10
    Minnifer is online now Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    I talked to my ped today about DD (who I posted about below) - he said if no fever, it was fine for her to go to camp b/c the primary means of transmission is via saliva - so with a 4 yo that's not a high risk. I told him that her spots aren't blistery at all but honestly that didn't even seem to factor into his opinion. So, this appears to be the virus w/the most contradictory info ever re contagion!

    OP, I'd say it was fine - I think your sitter was already exposed like you mentioned and if she hasn't gotten it already she won't.
    Lucky single mama to DD 5/08 and DS 6/11

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