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Health Tips Detail

It is a mild contagious viral infection commonly seen in young children characterized by sores in the mouth and rash on hands and feet. The most common causative organism is Cox Sackie virus.

Hand foot mouth disease
It is a mild contagious viral infection commonly seen in young children characterized by sores in the mouth and rash on hands and feet. The most common causative organism is Cox Sackie virus.

Sign and symptoms
Fever
Sore throat
Loss of appetite
Irritability
Malaise
Painful blister like lesion on tongue, gums and cheeks
Red non itchy rash on palm, soles and buttocks

Incubation period
3-6 days

Modes of infection

Oral ingestion
Person to person contact with-nasal secretion, throat discharge, saliva, blister fluid, stool.

Risk group

Children less than 5 years, crèche, child care centre.

Complication

Dehydration due to inability to swallow due to mouth and throat ulcers
Viral meningitis and encephalitis are rare potentially life threatening

Prevention

  • Washing hands often with soap and water after using the toilet, changing diapers, before preparing food. Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Disinfect common areas like child care centers areas, toys, pacifiers, frequently touched surfaces, and door knobs.
  • Avoid close contact such as kissing, hugging, and sharing cups and eating utensils with people who have the disease.
  • Isolation of contagious persons and adequate rest to one who is infected. Keep children out of childcare / school until fever is gone and mouth sores healed. For adults better to stay home and abstain from work.
Herpangia is the similar viral illness but presents with high-grade fever and seizures.
It is not related to foot and mouth disease found in farm animals. Neither humans can contract it nor transmit it to them.

Dr. Rateesh Sareen & Dr. Menka Kapil
(Department of Pathology & Transfusion Medicine)
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