October 8, 2015
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Hand-Foot-And-Mouth Syndrome (cont.)

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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, Coxsackievirus A-16. In those outbreaks due to enterovirus 71, the illness may be more severe with complications such as infection of the heart muscle and/or viral meningitis and encephalitis and paralytic disease. As a rule, HFMD 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 (when contrasted with mumps, measles, and chickenpox, for example). HFMD 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 HFMD 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 HFMD is directed toward symptomatic relief of fever and sore throat. Antibiotics are not indicated for this viral 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.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/10/2015

Source: MedicineNet.com

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