Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment: Hand foot and mouth disease is a common and highly contagious disease caused by viruses which mostly affects infants and children below the age of 5 years. Anyone can get these infections but it is most common in children. The infection can be identified with a blister-like rash on the hands, feet and around the mouth of the infected person. This rash can be extremely itchy and can also appear on other body parts too.
The disease is not usually harmful and goes away in two to three weeks. The problem with this disease is that it is highly contagious meaning it can spread from one person to another really quickly which can pose a huge problem in treating the disease. The disease does not have a definitive cure as it is caused by a virus but there are some measures to prevent the spread of this disease from one person to another.
Hand Foot and Mouth Disease
Hand foot and mouth disease is a common disease found in children below the age of 5 years but it can spread to anyone if they come in contact with the virus. This disease can get active in 3 to 6 days after the contact of the virus with the person. The initial symptoms of the disease include mild rash, and sores in your mouth. These symptoms get worse over time and then it starts to go down on its own. It gets resolved completely in two to three weeks without any medication.
However in some cases it can lead to the development of severe symptoms which require medical attention. Hand foot and mouth disease does not require hospitalisation of the patient however they may need observation. The article given below tells about the symptoms of the Hand foot and mouth disease, causes, diagnosis and how to treat Hand foot and mouth disease.
Causes of Hand Foot and Mouth Disease
The Hand foot and mouth disease is caused by a group of viruses which mostly affects children. The common causes of Hand foot and mouth disease are given below.
- Nose mucus and throat discharge
- Infected Saliva
- Fluid from infected blisters
- Infected stools
- Cough droplets of an infected person
- Touching an infected person or a object used by them
Symptoms of Hand Foot and Mouth Disease
The Hand foot and mouth disease are mostly accompanied by a variety of symptoms. Some of these symptoms overlap with the symptoms of other diseases making it difficult for the parents to pinpoint the cause of infection in their children. The characteristic diseases of the Hand foot and mouth disease are given below.
- Constant fever from 2 to 4 days with no signs of it going down.
- Lowered appetite in the infected person
- Sore throat and ulcers in the mouth
- Headache and irritability in the infected person
- Malaise and a feeling of fatigue
- Red rash on the palms of your hand and on the sores of your feet
- Increased drooling in children and infants
- Fluid filled blisters which leave scabs when broken.
If the fever of your child does not go down even with medication then you will need to visit your doctor immediately to get your child treated.
Diagnosis of Hand Foot and Mouth Disease
The diagnosis of the Hand foot and mouth disease can be made easily as the cause of the disease is known. Your doctor will perform the following methods to determine the cause of the symptoms of your child.
- The doctor will first note down the medical history of your child and whether he has experienced any recent infection in the last few days.
- Then he will take a blood test of your child to check what kind of virus is present in their blood.
- The doctor can also perform a physical test to check whether they have any other physical symptoms along with the fever.
- The fluid from your blisters and your saliva will also be tested to check the presence of other bacteria or viruses in them.
Treatment of Hand Foot and Mouth Disease
Based on the symptoms presented by the patient, your doctor will prescribe you medications to treat them. Your doctor will prescribe the following medications in order to treat the symptoms of the patient if they do not resolve on their own.
- Over the counter medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen may be prescribed to reduce the pain and fever of the patient.
- For ulcers in your mouth may be treated with the gargles of antihistamine drugs and painkillers to treat them.
- Medicated syrups may also be prescribed to treat sore throats.
- Some medicated talcum powders may also be prescribed for the blisters so that they do not leave any scar on the skin of the patient.
Prevention of Hand Foot and Mouth Disease
This Hand foot and mouth disease can easily be prevented by just following some simple hygiene tips and methods so that the person does not get infected by the disease.
- Always wash your hands before any meal and make sure to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
- Always keep a distance from other people if you suspect that they may have been infected by the Hand foot and mouth disease.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and ears without washing your hands as this can result in an infection.
- Avoid any close contact with an infected person as the disease is highly contagious and can spread easily from one person to another.
FAQs Related to Hand Foot and Mouth Disease
The Hand foot and mouth disease is highly contagious and it can easily spread from one person to another. It can spread through touch and even using the belongings of another person.
Hand foot and mouth disease is caused by a group of viruses which can spread from one person to another by coming in contact with the infected person.
The prevention methods of Hand foot and mouth disease are given in the article above.