Hand-Foot-And-Mouth Syndrome (cont.)
John Mersch, MD, FAAP
Dr. Mersch received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, San Diego, and prior to entering the University Of Southern California School Of Medicine, was a graduate student (attaining PhD candidate status) in Experimental Pathology at USC. He attended internship and residency at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) facts
- What is hand, foot, and mouth (HFMD) disease?
- What causes hand, foot, and mouth disease?
- What are the risk factors for hand, foot and mouth disease?
- Is hand, foot, and mouth disease contagious? How does HFMD spread?
- What is the contagious period for hand, foot, and mouth disease?
- What is the incubation period for hand, foot, and mouth disease?
- Can adults get hand, foot, and mouth disease?
- What are the symptoms and signs of hand, foot, and mouth disease?
- When does hand, foot, and mouth disease usually occur?
- What is the course of hand, foot, and mouth disease?
- Why haven't we heard more about hand, foot, and mouth disease?
- How do doctors diagnose hand, foot, and mouth disease?
- What is the treatment for hand, foot, and mouth disease?
- What are complications of hand, foot, and mouth disease?
- How does hand, foot, and mouth disease affect pregnancy and the baby?
- When can children with hand, foot, and mouth disease return to school?
- What is the prognosis of hand, foot, and mouth disease?
- Is it possible to prevent hand, foot, and mouth disease?
- Childhood Illnesses You Should Know Slideshow
- Symptoms of Infant & Childhood Illnesses Slideshow
- Enterovirus D68 Slideshow
- Find a local Pediatrician in your town
What are the risk factors for hand, foot and mouth disease?
Risk factors for developing HFMD include
- spring and fall seasons,
- the toddler age range is most likely to develop the disease,
- high-risk exposure location (such as daycare and preschool), and
- ineffective hygiene -- infrequent soap and water hand-washing or not wearing disposable gloves when changing stool-containing diapers.
An individual with a compromised immune system is more likely to develop HFMD.
Is hand, foot, and mouth disease contagious? How does HFMD spread?
HFMD is spread person to person by direct contact with the infecting virus (either Coxsackievirus A16 or less commonly enterovirus 71). These viruses are most commonly found in the nasal and throat regions but also in the blister fluid or stool of infected individuals. Infected individuals are most contagious during the first week of their illness. HFMD cannot be contracted from pets or animals.
The viruses that cause HFMD may remain in the person's respiratory or intestinal tract for several weeks to months after all symptoms have resolved. It is possible, therefore, to transmit the infection even though the formerly ill individual has completely recovered. Some individuals (most commonly adults) may exhibit no symptoms or signs during their infection but may unwittingly transmit the illness to those (commonly infants and children) who are not immune.
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