Yellowknife toddlers catching hand, foot and mouth virus
An outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease in Yellowknife is causing many toddlers and their parents some major discomfort.
According to the N.W.T. Department of Health and Social Services, it's not a serious illness, though the blisters may appear alarming. It is a highly contagious virus and can last five to 10 days, much like the common cold.
There is no treatment.
Natasha McCagg's two-year-old daughter Mira came down with it last week.
"We knew that there was hand, foot and mouth disease at our daycare so we just kind of waited for the spots and blisters to appear and on Saturday they did," she said.
"And then she looked like a little old man with a red beard; she had blisters all around her face."
The blisters also covered Mira’s hands and feet. McCagg said she ran a high fever and ended up in the emergency room.
It's generally toddlers who contract hand foot and mouth disease, but McCagg said she knows of one parent who has it right now.
"There's not that much you can do as a parent, you're washing your hands and taking precautions," she said. "But as you can see she's up in my arms and touching me with her little hands, so hopefully I'm one of those people who doesn't get it."
At Kids Corner Childcare, eight children caught the disease.
"We've been open four years and this is the first time we've had it here," said the daycare’s director, Kathryn Watkins.
She said most of the cases happened within three weeks.
"It's not something you can prevent and it's not something you can track," Watkins said. "We just go into hyper-disinfection mode and we are just extra vigilant about disinfecting all of the surfaces."