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.
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HFMD is caused by a virus from a group of viruses called enteroviruses.
HFMD is more common in children under 10 years of age.
Contact with someone who is infected with HFMD increases your risk of getting HFMD.
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:
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.
To help reduce the risk of HFMD:
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Canadian Pediatric Society
Public Health Agency of Canada
Hand-foot-and-mouth disease. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116931/Hand-foot-and-mouth-disease . Updated June 27, 2017. Accessed December 21, 2017.
Hand, foot, and mouth disease. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at:
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Updated January 6, 2017. Accessed December 21, 2017.
6/24/2014 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116931/Hand-foot-and-mouth-disease : 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 November 2018 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Kari Kassir, MD
Last Updated: 12/20/2014