New infection strain hits Bay Area kids

Strain of hand, foot and mouth disease has alarming symptoms

A strain of hand, foot and mouth disease is making the rounds in the Bay Area, alarming pediatricians.

The disease is a common cause of a pimply rash that breaks out on children’s hands and feet and causes sores in the mouth, but physicians have reported encountering a more severe rash and the loss of fingernails and toenails weeks after the infection has cleared, according to Bay Area schools and day-care centers have reported outbreaks that spread through sneezing, coughing and touching surfaces with infected hands.

“We don’t see reports of kids dying or being injured by the disease, but it’s not quite as benign as regular hand, foot and mouth disease,” said Dr. Dan Kelly, a San Francisco pediatrician. “It’s worth people being aware of. People will worry if their kid’s fingernails fall out.”