Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) is a viral infection caused by enteroviruses, most commonly the coxsackievirus.

HFMD is most common in children under 10 years of age, but it can also affect older children and adults.

Symptoms of HFMD usually occur around 3 to 7 days after first contact with the virus.

The first noticeable symptoms are a 24-to-48-hour fever of 38 to 39º Celsius, and a sore throat.

These are followed by a range of other symptoms:

• a rash on the hands and soles of the feet, with flat, painful, red blisters, occurring 1 to 2 days after the fever

• loss of appetite

• headache

• throat, mouth, and tongue ulcers

Some people will have no symptoms, but they can pass on the virus to others.

It is most contagious during the first 7 days of illness.

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