Hand Foot Mouth Disease (HFMD)

18 July 2018

Hand Foot Mouth Disease (HFMD) is a common infection caused by a group of viruses name Coxsackievirus A16 & Enterovirus 71.


This disease commonly affects infants and children younger than 5 years old. Other than that, Adults and Older Children may get infected by the disease but the outcomes shall not be so serious. Adults can be carriers.


What is the mode of spread for the HFMD? it is highly contagious, spreading by person to person through direct contact with unwashed hands. It can also be transmitted through contact with an indected person's saliva,fluid from skin rash or feces. 


The symptoms begin to develop three to six days after exposure, this period is known as the incubation period. When symptoms do appear, you or your child may experience :


- Starts with fever
- After 2 - 3 days sore throat
- Poor appetite
- Mouth ulcers
- Red rash with blister on the palm, soles, buttock and limbs (painful rash)

A fever and sore throat are usually the first symptoms of HFMD. The characteristic blisters and rashes show up later, usually one or two days after the fever begins.


The duration for this illness can be up to one week to ten days. It can be contagious during duration of disease and for 2 - 3 weeks after.


To get treatment, it is advisable to see Doctor for confirmation of diagnosis. For further treatment for such illness are :

1.Fever - Syp paracetamol
2.Rash - cream to reduce pain
3.Oral ulcers - medication - oral aid gel
4.Food - soft diet (eg: pudding, vanilla ice cream, jelly and to avoid hot, spicy, oily food


When to admit? When temperature too high and persistently more that 38.5 degree and when the child unable to eat/drink, they need to get rehydration with IV drip.


The complications that might happen is if high temperature it can cause fit. Other than that, when unable to eat/drink it will cause dehydration and sometimes heart can be myocarditis.


However there are few steps that can prevent us from this viruses. It can start with maintaining good hygiene not only at home but also schools, kindergarden and nurseries. Other than that the care givers must be educated with the knowledge of what is it and how to prevent the HFMD.


At the moment there is no vaccines available and no antibiotics needed.

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