Hand Foot and Mouth Disease

By Refadoc, Posted on : Tuesday, 15 September 2015 - 10:46 am IST

Hand Foot and Mouth Disease

Hand Foot and Mouth Disease:

Hand Foot and Mouth Disease is a mild yet contagious viral infection which affects young children all over the world. This condition is characterized by the presence of sores all around the mouth and the rashes on the hands and the feet of the affected person. Coxsackievirus is the causative factor of the condition all over the world.

Though there is no specific course of treatment for the condition, the risk of contagion can be decreased by following a strict regimen of good health and by teaching the child to keep clean.

Causes of Hand Mouth and Foot Disease

An infection by the Coxsackievirus A16 has emerged as one of the major reasons for the disease. The Coxsackievirus belongs to the non polio enteroviruses. Certain other kinds of viruses are also known to cause the disease sometimes.

Oral ingestion of this virus is one of the major causes of the disease. This virus is generally spread from person to person via the following mediums:

  •       Nasal secretions or throat discharge
  •       Saliva
  •       Fluid discharged from the blisters
  •       Stool
  •       Droplets sprayed while coughing or sneezing

Hand foot and mouth disease is very common amongst children. The virus when enters the body remains inactive for weeks. Sometimes, adults too can be the carriers of this disease without showing any signs or symptoms of the same. During the summer months, the outbreak of this disease is very common. 

Signs and Symptoms of Hand Foot and Mouth Disease

The following are the major signs and symptoms of Hand Foot and Mouth Disease:

  •       High and persistent fever
  •       Soreness of the throat
  •       Feeling of malaise
  •       Formation of red blisters all over the tongue, gums and the cheeks
  •       Red rashes on the palms, soles and the buttocks of the affected person
  •       Irritation in the infants and the toddlers
  •       Loss of appetite

The incubation period of the virus ranges from three to six days. Fever is one of the first symptoms of the disease. After a couple of days, rashes begin to appear all over the hands and the feet.

Tests and Diagnosis for Hand Foot and Mouth Disease:

The doctors are able to distinguish the symptoms of the disease from other condition by going for the following evaluations:

  •       Evaluating the age of the affected person
  •       Patterns and signs of the symptoms
  •       Appearance of the rashes and the sores

The doctor tends to take a throat swab of the affected person along with the stool specimen. These samples are then sent to the lab in order to check for the causative agent of the disease.

Treatment and Drugs for Hand Foot and Mouth Disease:

There is no specific treatment for Hand Foot and Mouth Disease. However, the signs and symptoms of the disease tend to clear out on their own after seven to ten days.

Apart from this, a topical oral anaesthetic can be used in order to relieve the pains which are caused due to the mouth sores. Over the counter medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen are used in order to relieve the pain.



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