Hand, foot and mouth disease is caused by intestinal virus or many types of enteroviruses. The disease mostly affects young babies and children aged less than five years old. It usually occurs all year round, but is most commonly found in the rainy season with its cold and dampness.
A child infected with hand, foot and mouth disease suffers from fever, exhaustion, and a loss of appetite. One or two days after the
onset of the disease, the infected child will have nasal mucus, pain in the mouth, and a sore throat, while babies will also refuse to drink the mother’s breast milk. An examination in the mouth will find red spots or clear fluid within them on the membrane around the mouth, tongue, and gums. The child will have a rash on their hands and feet. The red spots will turn into blister and popped open. Eventually, the symptoms will improve and the disease will be cured by itself within 7–10 days.
In most cases, the disease is transmitted from infected feces when consuming food and liquids, sucking fingers, and playing with toys contaminated with the disease. Furthermore, the disease can be transferred from an infected person’s lymph, droplets of nasal mucus or saliva. Although there is still no vaccine to cure the disease, it can be prevented by maintaining good hygiene with the following approaches:
With best wishes by Samitivej Hospital
Information from Child Health Institute
The First Class Honors M.D., Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, 2004.