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What all parents need to know about Hand Foot Mouth Disease

by on 23/05/2022 4564

What is Hand Foot, Mouth Disease?

According to the Centers for Disease Control, hand, foot, and mouth disease (commonly known as HFMD) is a viral illness that usually affects infants and children five-year-old and below. Sometimes, however, it affects adults as well.

“It usually starts with a fever, reduced appetite, sore throat, and a feeling of being unwell (malaise),” CDC says. “One or two days after the fever starts, painful sores can develop in the mouth (herpangina).”

With HFMD, there is also a chance of dehydration, especially for young children, because mouth sores are painful and swallowing may be difficult.

Not everyone will get all of these symptoms, CDC says. However, some people, particularly adults, may show no symptoms at all, but they can still pass the virus to others.

Image credit: Wikipedia 

What to look for

At the beginning, HFMD manifests as a common cold, accompanied by a sore throat, slight fever and aches all over the body.

Soon, however, other signs will begin to show—particularly painful sores and rashes.

The sores often start appearing at the back of the mouth as small red spots that blister and can become ulcers.

A skin rash with red spots which can also blister may also develop over one or two days on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. These rashes may also appear on the knees, elbows, buttocks or genital area.

How it spreads

A viral disease, HFMD spreads through saliva, mucous, blisters and feces. That’s why coughing, sneezing, drooling and close contact can spread the virus.

If you suspect that a person is infected with the virus, it is recommended not to get to close to them as physical contact increases your chance of contracting HFMD.

What parents can do

When children start school, their risk of catching a virus from another child increases. That’s why it’s important that you make sure they properly wash their hands regularly.

If they appear to be coming down with a cold or a flu, it’s best that they stay at home where they can recover and not spread virus to other children

If you child shows symptoms of HFMD, immediately call your doctor and keep your child hydrated.

This article was first published on theAsianParent.