What is HFMD?

Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease

Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) is a common illness that affects children and may cause sores called ulcers inside or around their mouth as well as a rash or blisters on their hands, feet, legs, or buttocks. HFMD is also known as hand, foot, and mouth syndrome. It may be unpleasant, but the condition is not life-threatening.

What causes HFMD?

The main way people get coxsackievirus and hand-foot-and-mouth disease is by eating or drinking something that contains the virus. 

How HFMD spreads?

Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease may be acquired by:

  1. Contact with virus-containing respiratory droplets when a sick person coughs or sneezes.
  2. Physical contact with an infected individual or other close contact, including kissing, hugging, or sharing drinks or dining utensils.
  3. Touching an infected person's faeces, such as while changing diapers, and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth increases your risk of infection.
  4. Contacting infected items and surfaces, such as doorknobs and toys, and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth may transmit the virus.

What is HFMD symptoms?

  • Early symptoms can include:
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Typically painful blisters at the back of a child's mouth or on their tongue.
  • Feeling ill (malaise)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue

How is HFMD treated?

In most situations, the infection will resolve itself within 7 to 10 days without therapy. However, your doctor would offer specific therapies to alleviate symptoms while the condition runs its course. Examples include:

  1. Medicinal or over-the-counter topical ointments for blisters and rashes 
  2. Syrups or lozenges containing medication to relieve painful sore throats.
  3. Children should NOT be given aspirin for viral illnesses. In children, aspirin may lead to Reye's syndrome.