Understanding Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease
Hand, foot and mouth disease is a condition which is commonly found in children, but might also occur in adults. This disease affects different parts of the body, appearing as sores across the hands, feet, mouth, legs and even buttocks.These sores can be painful and spreads very easily, especially amongst groups of small young children – however it’s typically quite harmless.
What is the cause of hand, foot and mouth disease?
The cause of hand, foot and mouth disease is a group of enteroviruses, particularly coxsackie virus A16. This virus spreads when a child comes into direct contact with the virus fluid, which might seep from the sores, or when a child sneezes and coughs. The virus typically thrives in the nose, mouth and chest, and spreads very quickly amongst groups of small children, such as playgroups or daycare centres.
What are the signs and symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease?
Children suffering from hand foot mouth disease starts showing symptoms anywhere between three to seven days after getting infected with the coxsackie virus. The patient may complain of fatigue, fever and a sore throat. The patient also presents with painful sores on the hands, feet, mouth, legs and buttocks.
Your child may also have a headache and aching muscles, mild stomach pain, or nausea. Small blisters may also start appearing on the palms and soles of the feet. Different to the sores, these look like tiny red spots, which eventually clear up after seven to ten days.
How is hand, foot and mouth disease diagnosed?
Hand, foot and mouth disease is usually diagnosed through a physical examination, and by the symptoms the patient presents with. However, fluid samples might also be collected via the throat to confirm a case of hand, foot and mouth disease.
How is hand, foot and mouth disease treated?
There is no treatment necessary for hand, foot and mouth disease. This condition usually subsides on its own within a few days. Medication is prescribed to manage any symptoms the patient might suffer from, such as Paracetamol for the fever.
How to prevent the spread of hand, foot and mouth disease?
The best way to prevent hand, foot and mouth disease is to maintain a healthy lifestyle and good hygiene for your baby by eating a healthy balanced diet and cleaning your baby properly, keeping your child’s hands and feet clean and avoid sharing items with an infected child.