Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

Wondering what the common hand, foot and mouth disease symptoms are? Read on to find out.

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Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) Signs and Symptoms

Fever
Sore throat
Painful mouth ulcers on the tongue, gums, inside of the cheeks or back of the throat
Rash on the hands and feet, most commonly on the palms and soles
Resolves within seven to 10 days
Complications affecting the heart or brain, although rare, may occur

What Causes HFMD?

HFMD  is a viral infection. It is moderately contagious, especially during the first week of illness. Transmission is through direct person-to-person contact by mucus, saliva, or stool; or indirectly by articles contaminated by secretions. 

The disease affects primarily infants and young children, though adults may also be at risk.

Patients with any of the following symptoms should be referred to hospital for further management:
Prolonged fever
Rapid heart beat (tachycardia)
Rapid breathing (tachypnea)
Poor feeding or vomiting with dehydration
Lethargy and irritability
Drowsiness
Headache

Patients with signs and symptoms suggestive of complications of heart or brain infection should also be referred to the hospital for management.

Diagnosis and Treatment Options

There is no specific treatment available for HFMD, hence your doctor will focus on symptomatic treatment instead.

Care Tips

Infected children should stay away from school for one week after the rash appears.
Proper hygiene practices such as handwashing should be practised.
Surfaces and articles such as toys and towels that may be contaminated by mucus, saliva or stool of infected children should be properly disinfected with a diluted solution of chlorine-containing bleach.



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Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

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