We May Now Know When Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease Outbreaks Will Occur
Published:30 Aug.2018    Source:ScienceNews

 Enteroviruses, including the ones that cause hand, foot and mouth disease, trigger outbreaks in predictable patterns.

 

Some of these viruses, which can lead to everything from fevers, rashes and blisters to meningitis and heart infections, circulate every year or every two or three years. But it’s been unclear how foreseeable those patterns are. Now, based on Japan’s birthrate and how many people already had been infected, researchers were able to accurately predict outbreaks of 18 out of 20 enteroviruses. The other two tricky viruses had mutated to become more virulent, more easily transmissible or less visible to the immune system, infectious disease modelers Margarita Pons-Salort and Nicholas Grassly report in the Aug. 24 Science.