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Why would hand foot and mouth disease stop air travel?

 Why would hand - foot and mouth disease stop air travel? Because it looks bad, like something else.

 I'm preempting a couple of other blog posts to talk about why and four in mouth disease in a child on board an aircraft caused a bit of a panic in Colorado. According to CNN, a plane arriving in Colorado from Mexico was held at the gate because there was a sick child on board. Travelers became concerned when they were asked to de-board the plane using stairs rather than the jetway ramp.

Hand, Foot and Mouth
The child appeared to have a rash on the hands the feet and around the mouth prompting health evaluation and eventual transport to a hospital by paramedics. So, why would a child with a simple viral infection of hand, foot and mouth disease caused such a stir? Hand - foot and mouth disease is a common viral illness among infants and children causing a fever and little blister like eruptions in the mouth, hands and feet… this pattern of eruption is known as a centrifugal pattern. Remember that, centrifugal pattern. Usually this disease is self-limiting although painful and uncomfortable. One of the worst side effects from this disease is viral meningitis. It is transmitted from person to person by direct contact with a person who has hand, foot and mouth disease.

So, again, why did this cause such a stir? Well I can only speculate that when the symptoms in the presentation of this 23 month old child were relayed to health officials someone recognized a centrifugal pattern of lesion development. Can you guess what other viral disease develops innocent critical pattern? If you answered smallpox, you would be correct. I suspect that when someone recognize the symptoms of fever, rash and blisters on the hands feet and mouth they also suspected smallpox.
Smallpox Eruptions on Hand

It's very important to understand how deadly smallpox is in is equally important to remember that there are other diseases that can mimic the presentation. The actions by the airline and by public health officials I believe in this case were justified and appropriate. If I'm correct in my assumptions, this would indicate someone in public health was awake and alert when this case came in.

Read the CNN story here

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