RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) -- A contagious disease commonly seen in children is reportedly spreading across the Commonwealth.
WHSV reports that letters have been sent out to childcare providers across the state warning of hand, foot and mouth disease -- a viral illness that typically infects children up to age 5.
Anyone, however, is susceptible to the disease.
According to a letter sent out by the Central Shenandoah Health District, emergency department and urgent care visits for the illness have been elevated in recent weeks.
"There were a total across the state of 376 emergency department and urgent care visits that a chief complaint or a diagnosis of hand, foot and mouth disease," Laura Kornegay, health director for the district, said. "Or, they had symptoms consistent with that of the diagnosis."
Symptoms of the disease include painful mouth sores, fever, fatigue and a rash on both the hands and feet.
While there is no treatment for this illness, Kornegay says there are ways to keep the disease from spreading.
Parents should encourage children to always wash their hands after using the restroom, and parents should keep children at home — away from others — if they get sick.
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