• Hand, foot and mouth disease is a viral illness most commonly caused by the Coxsackie virus A6.

• Enteroviruses 71 (EV71) can also cause hand, foot and mouth disease.

• Both adults and children can develop this infection. But young children below 5 years old are more susceptible.

• It is a moderately contagious illness.

• The incubation period is 5 days.

• The illness begins with fever, which lasts for 24–48 hours.

• Fever is followed by appearance of painful sores in mouth. They begin as small red spots that blister and then often become ulcers. Tongue is involved.

• There are peripherally distributed small tender non itchy rash with blisters on the palms of hands, and soles of feet and buttocks.

• The sores hurt on touch and swallowing is difficult.

• There is proximal separation of nail from the nail bed.

• The virus is present in mucus from nose, saliva, fluid from sores and traces of bowel movements.

• The virus spreads in the first week of infection.

• The infection spreads from person to person by direct contact with nasal discharge, saliva or blister fluid or from stool of infected persons.

• The virus can persist in the stool for weeks.

 

• The illness is not transmitted to or from pets or other animals

• The illness stays for 2–3 days. It is usually mild and self-limited.

• Entero 71 virus is associated with brain involvement (meningitis and encephalitis), lungs and the heart.

• The patient remains infectious after the symptoms have gone.

• Test is not necessary.

• There is no specific treatment.

• Paracetamol tablet can be taken to relieve pain and fever.

• Aspirin is to be avoided in children.

• Dehydration should be avoided.

• Eat ice cream to numb the pain.

• Using mouthwashes or sprays that numb mouth

• Regularly wash your hands with soap and water.

• Avoid exposure to infected person.

• Maintain touch hygiene to reduce your risk of acquiring the infection.

• During first week of illness, the child should be kept in isolation.

• Schools should be closed.

• There is no vaccine currently available.