Signs & Symptoms
- 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 7 - 10 days
- Very rarely, complications affecting the heart or brain may occur
What causes it
Hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) is caused by an enterovirus.
About the condition
- It is moderately contagious, especially during the first week of illness.
- Transmission is through direct person-to-person by droplet, saliva, or stool; or indirectly by articles contaminated by secretions.
- The disease affects primarily infants and young children although adults may also be at risk
Patients with any of the following 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
- Patients with signs and symptoms suggestive of complications of heart or brain infection should also be referred to hospital for management.
Diagnosis and Treatment Options
- Infected children should stay away from school for one week after the rash appears.
- Proper hygiene practices such as hand washing should be practiced.
- Surfaces and articles such as toys and towels contaminated by the droplets, saliva or stool of infected children should be properly disinfected with a diluted solution of chlorine-containing bleach.