Hand, Foot, And Mouth Disease: All You Need To Know
Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) is prevalent all year in Singapore, and seasonal outbreaks often happen in childcare centers, kindergartens, and schools. HFMD may affect anybody, but children under the age of five are more prone to contract it. It spreads quickly throughout the summer and fall. Its consequences mainly involve the heart and neurological system such as encephalitis and can be deadly.
What is hand foot and mouth disease?
Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) is a common viral illness that causes painful red blisters in the mouth and throat and on the hands, and feet. The enterovirus, commonly the coxsackievirus, is responsible for the majority of HFMD infections which are most frequently in children.
Viruses from the Enterovirus family cause hand, foot, and mouth disease. The following are some of the most common causes of HFMD:
- Coxsackievirus A16 is the most prevalent cause of hand, foot, and mouth disease.
- Coxsackievirus A6 can also cause HFMD, with more severe symptoms.
- Enterovirus 71 (EV-A71) is uncommon, but it has been linked to more serious disorders such as encephalitis.
These viruses can spread in various ways. Contact with an infected person is a cause that makes people get HFMD. The stool of an infected individual is broken up by fluid from blisters on the patient’s body so people can get HFMD through it. Additionally, the virus also is in an infected person’s saliva or nasopharyngeal secretions when they cough or sneeze. Furthermore, the disease can be transferred indirectly through exchanging things, touching surfaces that infected people contact, such as doorknobs, table tops, chairs…
Hand foot mouth disease symptoms
Symptoms appear 3 to 6 days after contracting the virus. This is referred to as the incubation period. HFMD symptoms include:
The earliest signs of HFMD are generally a fever and a sore throat. Children frequently develop a fever and other flu-like symptoms 3 to 5 days after contracting the virus.
Children might get severe mouth sores. These sores often begin as little red patches, frequently on the tongue and insides of the mouth, that blister and become painful. When your kids suffer from this symptom, they may neither eat nor drink, have more drooling than normal, and only want to consume cold liquids.
Children may develop a skin rash on the palms of their hands and the soles of their feet. They can also appear on the buttocks, legs, and arms. The rash generally appears as flat red patches. Check the palms of the hands and the bottoms of the feet may be more visible.
The rash is typically not irritating and appears as flat or slightly elevated red patches, occasionally with blisters with a red region at their base. The patches develop into blisters that are grey or lighter in color than the surrounding skin and can be painful. The virus that causes hand, foot, and mouth disease may be found in the blister fluid and the following scab develops when the blister heals. To prevent blisters from spreading, try to avoid touching them and keep them clean.
A physical exam can often be used to diagnose HFMD. They will examine your mouth and body for blisters and rashes. The doctor will also inquire about any additional symptoms you or your kid may be experiencing.
To test for the virus, the doctor may take a throat swab or a stool sample. They will be able to confirm the diagnosis as a result of this.
Hand, foot, and mouth disease symptoms are often mild. Most people recover in a week or two with only a little at-home care. Your doctor may advise you to take the following:
- Over-the-counter fever and pain medicines, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol®) and ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®).
- A prescription mix of an antacid (Maalox®), a liquid antihistamine (Benadryl®), and a painkiller such as lidocaine, is available for persons of legal drinking age.
The hand, foot, and mouth disease virus is highly infectious. The illness frequently spreads before the individual recognizes they are ill. You can reduce or limit the spread of the sickness by following these excellent hygiene practices:
- Wash your hands with soap and water often after using the toilet, after changing diapers or potty training, before eating and preparing food
- Hands should be kept away from your eyes, nose, and mouth. If the virus that causes HFMD is on a doorknob, toy, or other surfaces, you can contract the disease by contacting the surface and then touching your face. The virus can enter your body via your lips, eyes, or nose. Therefore, it is essential to regularly clean surrounding objects and living spaces by sterilizing fluid.
- Avoid coming into close touch with somebody who has HFMD. When an infected individual coughs or sneezes, the sickness spreads. Avoid getting too near to the person until you’re confident they can’t spread the infection to others. Most people are no longer infectious after 7 to 10 days, however, this might vary. Because the virus spreads by intimate contact, it is also beneficial to refrain from kissing, hugging, or sharing meals with the sick individual.
- Disinfecting countertops, doorknobs, toys, and other surfaces can aid in the spread of the disease. When you contact an infected surface, the virus that causes HFMD can spread from person to person.