Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

What is hand, foot and mouth disease?

Hand, foot, and mouth disease, also known as HFMD, is a highly contagious yet mild viral infection. It is characterised by a rash on the hands (palms), feet (soles) and occasionally the buttocks or genitals as well as sores on the inside of the patient’s mouth.  The illness occurs due to infection with one of the nonpolio enteroviruses, with coxsackievirus A type 16 being the most common cause.

It is important to note that hand, foot, and mouth disease should not be confused with foot and mouth, or hoof and mouth disease which is caused by a different virus and affects sheep, cattle and swine.

The hand, foot and mouth virus does not have a specific treatment and most commonly infects infants and children but can also occur in adults. You can reduce the risk of contracting the infection through the use of good hygiene practices and educating children on how to wash their hands properly and keep clean.

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