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 (HFM) disease facts
- What is hand foot and mouth (HFM) disease?
- What are the symptoms and signs of hand foot and mouth disease?
- What causes hand foot and mouth disease?
- How is hand foot and mouth disease spread?
- What is the incubation period for hand foot and mouth disease?
- When does hand foot and mouth disease usually occur?
- How does hand foot and mouth disease affect pregnancy and the baby?
- What is the course of hand foot and mouth disease?
- Why haven't we heard more about hand foot and mouth disease?
- How is hand foot and mouth disease diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for hand foot and mouth disease?
- Find a local Pediatrician in your town
What is the course of hand foot and mouth disease?
The illness is characteristically self-limited and is usually resolved within a week, particularly when due to its most common cause, Coxsackie virus A-16. In those outbreaks due to enterovirus 71, the illness may be more severe with complications such as viral meningitis and encephalitis and paralytic disease. As a rule, HFM is generally a mild and self-limited illness.
Why haven't we heard more about hand foot and mouth disease?
Recognition of hand foot and mouth disease is relatively recent (as compared to mumps, measles, and chickenpox, for example). HFM was first reported in 1956 in Australia. By the early 1960s, it had emerged as a common childhood illness around the world.
How is hand foot and mouth disease diagnosed?
Usually, the diagnosis of HFM is made on a combination of clinical history and characteristic physical findings. Laboratory confirmation is rarely necessary unless severe complications develop.
What is the treatment for hand foot and mouth disease?
Therapy for HFM is directed toward symptomatic relief of fever and sore throat. Antibiotics are not indicated for this viral disease.
Medically reviewed by Robert Cox, MD; American Board of Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Infectious Disease
American Academy of Pediatrics. Red Book: 2009 Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases. 28th ed. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics, 2009.
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