Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

General Illness Information


Common Name:

HAND, FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE

Medical Term: COXSACKIE VIRUS A-16 INFECTION

Description: It is a viral illness presenting with ulcers in the mouth and water blisters or red spots on palms, soles of feet and in groin and buttock area.
Mainly occurs in children from 6 months to 4 years.

Causes: Coxsackie Virus A-16 Infection

Prevention:

Prevent exposure of infants and young children to anyone with a respiratory illness. Incubation period is 3 to 6 days.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Sudden fever;
  • Sore throat with blisters and ulcers in the mouth and throat lining;
  • Headache;
  • Rash with blisters on the hands, feet and groin;
  • Appetite loss;
  • Abdominal pain (sometimes).

Risk Factors

Summer and fall seasons.

Diagnosis & Treatment

  • This disorder has a mild course and the child can be cared for at home;
  • Boil eating utensils and other items that touch the mouth of saliva or use disposable utensils to avoid transmitting the disease;
  • Boil bottle nipples separately for 20 minutes before sterilizing formula in bottles.

Medications:

To reduce high fever or for pain, you may use non-prescription drugs such as acetaminophen. Antibiotics are not effective against this disease.

Activity:

  • Keep the child in bed until fever and other symptoms disappear. Normal activities may be resumed gradually;
  • Avoid citrus, salty, spicy foods;
  • Avoid foods that need much chewing;
  • Offer soft diet – custard, gelatin, ice cream;
  • Encourage plenty of clear fluids eg. cold drinks, popsicles, sherberts;
  • Have the child rinse mouth with warm water after meals.

Possible Complications :

Dehydration from child refusing fluids.

Prognosis

  • Spontaneous recovery;
  • Fever and discomfort last for 3-4 days;
  • Mouth ulcers resolve in 7 days.