Hand foot and mouth diseases (HFM) is a widespread viral infection that commonly affects young children. Hives and mouth sores are typical symptoms. One of most common complication of hand, feet, and mouths illness is the coxsackievirus.

Hand, foot, and mouth illnesses have no specific treatment. Your child’s risk of infection may be reduced by routine hand washing and staying away from those who have hand, foot, and mouth disease.


Hand, foot, and mouth illness may result in one or more of the following signs and symptoms. They consist of:

  • 1. Inflammation.
  • 2. Painful throat
  • 3. I feel ill.
  • 4. Sores that hurt and resemble blisters on the inside of the cheeks, the tongue, and the gums.
  • 5. A rash that sometimes appears on the buttocks, soles, and palms.Although blisters are infrequent, the rash is not uncomfortable. According to the skin colour, the rash may look like tiny pimples that are red, white, or grey.
  • 6. Fussiness in young children.
  • 7. Decrease in appetite.

Typically, indications don’t appear until 3 to 6 days after the initial illness (incubation period). It’s possible for kids to suffer fever and sore throat. They occasionally feel unwell and lose their appetite.

One to 2 days just after fever begins, painful sores may develop near the front of the throat or jaw. On occasion, the buttocks and/or hands may also develop a rash.

Herpangina, a similar viral infection, may be indicated by sores that appear in the neck and back of the mouth. A quick spike in temperature and, in certain cases, seizures are other symptoms of herpangina. The hands, feet, or other regions of the body may occasionally get infected with sores.


Infection with coxsackievirus 16 is the most frequent cause of hand, foot, and mouth disease. This coxsackievirus is a member of the nonpolio enterovirus family. Hand, foot, and mouth illnesses can also be brought on by other enterovirus varieties.

The majority of cases of hand, foot, and mouth disease and coxsackievirus infection are mouth-to-mouth transmissions. Person-to-person interaction with infected people can disseminate the illness:

  • 1. Throat discharge or nasal discharge
  • 2. Stool Respiratory droplets released into the air during a cough or sneeze Saliva Fluid from blisters

Prevailing in daycare settings

The majority of cases of hand, foot, and mouth illness affect children in daycare. That’s because small kids require assistance using the restroom and regular diaper changes. Additionally, they frequently put their palms in their mouths.

The first week after contracting hand, foot, and mouth illness is the most contagious period for your child. However, even after the symptoms go, the virus might still be present in the body for several weeks. So, your child still has the potential to spread an infection.

Some persons, particularly adults, can spread the virus without displaying any clinical signs.

In the United States, the summer and early fall are the times when the disease most frequently breaks out. The rainy season is when outbreaks happen in tropical climates.

When to seek medical attention

Typically, hand, foot, and mouth disease is a minor condition. Usually, it only results in a few days of fever and minor symptoms. If your child is under six months old and has a compromised immune system, mouth sores, or hoarseness that makes it uncomfortable to consume liquids, call your healthcare practitioner right away. If someone’s child’s ailments don’t go better after 10 days, call your doctor as well.

As opposed to foot-and-mouth disease

The infectious viral disease known as foot-and-mouth disease, also known as hoof-and-mouth disease, is unrelated to hand-foot-and-mouth disease. You cannot contract the hand, foot, and mouth illness from animals, including pets, and you cannot transmit it to them.

Risk Elements

The primary risk factor for hand, foot, and mouth disease is age. Younger children between the ages of 5 and 7 are most commonly affected by the condition. Because the virus spreads through person-to-person contact, children in childcare facilities are particularly vulnerable.

Although it mainly affects small children, anyone can contract hand, foot, and mouth diseases.

It is believed that adults and older children are immune to hand-foot-and-mouth disease. After being exposed to the disease-causing viruses, they frequently produce antibodies. However, hand, foot, and mouth disease still occasionally affects teenagers and adults.


Dehydration is the hand, foot, and mouth disease consequence that occurs most frequently. An uncomfortable throat and mouth due to the sickness might make swallowing difficult.

During the sickness, encourage your youngster to consume fluids. Children who are extremely dehydrated may require intravenous (IV) fluids while receiving medical treatment.

Typically, hand, foot, and mouth disease is a minor condition. Typically, the sole symptoms are a brief fever and slight discomfort. The norovirus that causes hand, foot, and mouth disease can occasionally enter the brain and produce life-threatening consequences:

Meningitis virus. This is an uncommon infection and aggravation of the meninges, which cover the brain and spinal cord, and cerebrospinal fluid.

Encephalitis. This serious and sometimes fatal illness involves inflammation of the brain. Rare cases of encephalitis exist.


There are various strategies to reduce your child’s chance of contracting hand, foot, and mouth disease:

Hands should be washed frequently

Make sure you wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. When changing a diaper or using the restroom, remember to wash your hands. Additionally, wash your hands after whipping your nose, sneezing, or coughing as well as before making preparations or eating food. Use hand sanitiser in the absence of soap and water.

Instil good hygiene

Help your kids wash their hands frequently by modelling good hygiene for them. Show them the fundamentals of proper hygiene. Inform them about the benefits of avoiding their hands, fingernails, or any other items in their mouth and nose.

Clean up the common spaces

First, use soap and water to clean surfaces and areas with high traffic. After that, clean with a water and bleach solution that has been diluted. Maintain a stringent cleaning and disinfection regimen if you work in a childcare facility. On surfaces in public spaces, such as doorknobs and shared objects like toys, the virus can survive for days.

Avoid making eye contact

Due to the high contagiousness of hand, foot, and mouth disease, infected individuals should limit their contact with others while experiencing symptoms. Keep children who have HFM from attending daycare or school until their fever has subsided and their mouth sores have recovered. Illness is an excuse to stay home from work.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How long does it take for someone to become contagious with HFM?

The first week of illness is typically the most contagious period for those with hands, foot – and – mouth. Sometimes, even after symptoms subside or even in the absence of any symptoms, people can still spread the infection to individuals for days or even weeks.

How can you quickly treat hand, feet, and mouth diseases?

Hand, foot, and mouth illnesses have no specific treatment. It typically takes 7 to 10 days for hand, foot, and mouth disease symptoms to go away. By applying a topical oral anaesthetic to the mouth sore, you may be able to reduce the discomfort associated with them.

Can you be near a person who has hand, foot, and mouth disease?

Prevailing in daycare settings

The first week after contracting hand, foot, and mouth illness is the most contagious period for your child. But even after the symptoms disappear, the virus can still be within the body for weeks. So, your child still has the potential to spread an infection.

How should your home be cleaned after hand, foot, and mouth?

Clean up soiled objects and dirty surfaces:

If possible, clean goods with soap and water first, then disinfect them using a chlorine bleach solution (1 tablespoon bleach to 4 cups water) or a bleach-containing cleaning product.

Is inadequate hygiene a cause of hand, foot, and mouth disease?

Low socioeconomic status, the presence of open defecation, inadequate sewage treatment, insufficient hand-washing, and other poor personal hygiene practices are among the risk factors for HFMD that have been found by studies conducted in China and Korea (such as biting fingers).

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