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Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease - Coxsackie Virus

 

Causes

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is an illness that causes sores in or on the mouth and on the hands, feet, and sometimes the buttocks and legs. The sores may be painful. The illness usually doesn't last more than a week or so. Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is common in children but can also occur in adults. HFMD occurs mainly in children under 10 years old, but adults may also be at risk.  Everyone is susceptible to infection.  Infection results in immunity to the specific virus, but a second episode may occur following infection with a different member of the enterovirus group.

Signs and Symptoms

The symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease usually develop between three and five days after being exposed to the infection. The first symptoms may include: a high temperature (fever), usually around 38-39C (100.4-102.2F) a general sense of feeling unwell and a loss of appetite.

Medications reduce symptoms. Medication:

  • Antipyretics: Over the counter medication used to relieve headaches and discomforts.
    Acetaminophen · Ibuprofen   (Caution: Aspirin should not be given to children.)
Incubation Period

Generally, a person with hand, foot, and mouth disease is most contagious during the first week of illness. People can sometimes be contagious for days or weeks after symptoms go away. Some people, especially adults, may become infected and not develop any symptoms, but they can still spread the virus to others.

Mode of Transmission

Spread of hand, foot and mouth disease. This infection is spread by direct contact with fluid from the skin blisters, nose and throat discharges (including saliva, sputum or nasal mucus), droplets (sneezing, coughing) and feces (stools). Good personal hygiene is important to prevent spread of the infection to others.

Period of Communicability

Usually it will cure within 7-10 days. Medications reduce symptoms.

Preventive Measures
  • You can lower your risk of being infected by doing the following:

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after changing diapers and using the toilet. Visit CDC’s Clean Hands Save Lives! for more information
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and soiled items, including toys (10-1 bleach solution)
    • Avoid close contact such as kissing, hugging, or sharing eating utensils or cups with people with hand, foot, and mouth disease.
Implications for School

There is currently no vaccine in the United States to protect against the viruses that cause hand, foot, and mouth disease.

You can lower your risk of being infected by doing the following:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after changing diapers and using the toilet. Visit CDC’s Clean Hands Save Lives! for more information.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and soiled items, including toys (10-1 bleach solution)
  • Avoid close contact such as kissing, hugging, or sharing eating utensils or cups with people with hand, foot, and mouth disease.
  • Although no strict criteria for exclusion from school can be established, it is recommended that students stay at home during the period when fever and tiredness are present and until the blistering and fever symptoms subside.
Serving the Residents of Kendall County Since 1966
811 W. John Street, Yorkville, IL 60560   •   630-553-9100