Hand Foot and Mouth


What is it?

Definition- A common viral infection that is caused by viruses. It starts in the throat and mainly affects children younger than 5.

Symptoms- Fever, poor/no appetite, sore throat, headache, irritability, painful to swallow, painful red blisters in the mouth, red rash on hands and soles of feet- doesn't itch but is painful.

Causes- Infection by a virus called nonpolio enteroviruses. It can be spread through saliva, fluid from blisters, stool, and respiratory droplets sprayed through the air after coughing or sneezing.

Complications- A common complication is dehydration. It also cause fever and mild symptom signs. Risk factors include children younger than 10. Children are highly susceptible to this disease because it is easily spread from person to person.

Treatment- There is currently no specific treatment or medicine for hand foot and mouth. Usually, the symptoms clear up in 7 to 10 days. Over the counter pain relief may help to relieve the general discomfort.

Prevention- No vaccine but wash hands often, especially after touching diapers and using the bathroom, clean children's toys often, avoid kissing, hugging, or sharing cups and utensils with people that have hand foot mouth disease.

Tests/Diagnosis- A doctor is able to diagnosis a child with Hand Foot Mouth Disease by being described the symptoms and by looking at the sores and blisters. Tests are usually unneeded.

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