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Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

(Vesicular Stomatitis With Exanthem)

Definition

Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) is a common illness in infants and children. It is characterized by fever, sores in the mouth, and a rash on the hands and feet. It occurs in warmer months. It is transmitted primarily between humans by direct contact with secretions from the nose and throat, saliva, fluid from blisters, or the feces of those who have HFMD.

Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

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Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Causes    TOP

HFMD is caused by a virus from a group of viruses called enteroviruses.

Risk Factors    TOP

HFMD is more common in chlidren under 10 years of age.

Contact with someone who is infected with HFMD increases your risk of getting HFMD.

Symptoms    TOP

  • Mild fever
  • Poor appetite
  • Discomfort
  • Sore throat
  • Painful sores in the mouth
  • Skin rash that does not itch, usually on the palms of hands and soles of feet

Diagnosis    TOP

You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.

Your bodily fluids and waste products may need to be tested. This can be done with:

  • Throat swab
  • Stool specimen

Treatment    TOP

There is no specific treatment for HFMD. Treatment is focused on relieving fever, aches, and pain associated with the illness. Medications may be given to help relieve the pain related to the sores in the mouth.

Prevention    TOP

To help reduce the risk of HFMD:

  • Wash your hands frequently, especially after diaper changes.
  • Clean contaminated surfaces with soap and water followed by a diluted solution of chlorine-containing bleach. (Mix about one-fourth cup of bleach with one-gallon water.)
  • Avoid close contact with children with HFMD.

RESOURCES:

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
http://www.niaid.nih.gov
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
http://www.cdc.gov

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Canadian Pediatric Society
http://www.cps.ca
Public Health Agency of Canada
http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca

References:

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated December 30, 2015. Accessed September 27, 2016.
Hand, foot, and mouth disease. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated August 19, 2013. Accessed November 3, 2014.
6/24/2014 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Fang Y, Wang S, et al. Risk factors of severe hand, foot and mouth disease: A meta-analysis. Scand J Infect Dis. 2014;46(7):515-522.
Last reviewed December 2015 by Kari Kassir, MD
Last Updated: 12/20/2014

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