Hand, foot and mouth disease is a mild, contagious viral infection, which is most commonly caused by coxsackievirus A type 16. Symptoms include fever, exanthem and macular or vesicular lesions of the oral cavity.
The incubation period for the virus to present signs and symptoms is 3 to 6 days from the day of initial infection. Fever accompanied by sore throat, and general weakness are usually the preliminary signs of hand, foot and mouth disease. After about 1 to 2 days, painful sores begin to appear in the throat and mouth, making eating and drinking difficult for children. Soon after that, rashes develop on the hands, feet and buttocks.
A careful physical examination of the sores, and the signs and symptoms of the disease would help in diagnosis of the condition. In addition, a throat swab and stool culture would also be carried out to analyze the presence of the viral agent .
Hand, foot and mouth disease has no specific treatment regime. So far, no antiviral medications have been developed against this virus. Symptoms usually clear up within 7 to 10 days. Over the counter medications for pain relief and fever are given, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen and aspirin. These help relieve the pain and discomfort caused due to the sores and rashes.
Children are also given topical oral anesthetic to decrease the pain, caused due to development of sores inside mouth and throat. Analgesic agents can also be applied directly on the affected area through mouthwashes or sprays. In some instances, administration of intravenous immunoglobulin and milirone has proved to be effective .
The disease is caused by coxsackievirus A16. This virus belongs to a group of viruses known as nonpolio enteroviruses. Hand, foot and mouth disease is an infectious disease caused due to contact with infected persons. The disease spreads when children are exposed to nasal secretions, saliva or feces of infected individuals .
Children less than 10 years fall easy prey to the disease due to poor immunity. However, the disease can even strike the adult population with compromised immunity profile. There has been considerable number of outbreaks of hand, foot and mouth disease reported worldwide. In the year 2012, about 1,520,274 cases of the disease were reported in China. In the same year, the disease also struck Alabama, United States, affecting majorly the teenagers and adult population. In Taiwan, the year 1998 witnessed 1.5 million cases of hand, foot and mouth disease .
Hand, foot and mouth disease is infectious in nature, and is spread through the fecal-oral route, and contact with the lesions that develop on the hands and feet. Such a kind of disease is easily spread through oral secretions as well. Such sequence of events causes development of viremia, followed by occurrence of invasions governing the mucous membranes and skin.
The virus can continue to stay inside the body even after the signs and symptoms of the disease have subsided. As a result, the child who has once contracted the disease can continue its spread even after several weeks .
There are several precautions that individuals can take to avoid spread of the disease. The following measures can be employed to prevent the disease:
Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is a viral infection characterized by development of sores inside the mouth and rashes in the hand and foot. It is more common in young children and with less chances of occurrence amongst the adult population. Children less than 5 years are more prone to develop such a kind of condition. The disease is highly contagious in nature and children who visit day care centres are at an increased risk. The development of sores inside the mouth makes eating and drinking difficult for the affected children. No specific treatment regime exists for treating hand, foot and mouth disease. The disease resolves by itself and medications are employed for symptomatic relief .
Hand, foot and mouth disease is a viral infection characterized by development of sores inside the mouth, and throat and rashes in the hands and feet. It is a contagious disease, and therefore is required that affected individuals be kept in isolation until they completely recover. Children below 10 years of age fall easy prey to this disease due to low immunity. Immunocompromised adults also are at an increased risk of developing such a disease.
The virus Coxsackie A 16 is known to cause hand, foot and mouth disease. This virus belongs to the group of non polio enteroviruses. It is an infectious disease, and is easily spread by contact with infected person through saliva or oral secretion, stool, fluid discharge from sores, and respiratory droplets that are shed off during coughing and sneezing.
Symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease begin with development of fever followed by appearance of sores inside the mouth and throat. Affected individuals then gradually develop rashes in the hands, feet and buttocks.
Diagnosis of hand, foot and mouth disease is made by careful examination of the sores and other signs. In addition, stool samples and throat swabs are tested for the presence of virus.
There is no specific treatment regime for this disease. The symptoms are managed, and brought under control, with medications such as acetaminophen and aspirin, to relieve fever and pain due to sores. Oral analgesic are also given to be applied on the sores.