An highly contagious illness among kids that causes rashes on the feet and hands with pain

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One of the commonest viral infections in children under the age of 5 is the hand, foot, and mouth disease. It is highly contagious illness that causes rashes on the feet and hands with painful blisters around the nose and mouth. The infection can heal on its own without the use of medication or hospital treatment; however, a higher level of management is required in severe cases.

HFMD was first reported in New Zealand in 1957. Foot and mouth disease (FMD) is commonly confused with HFMD. These two diseases are not related. FMD only affects animals like cattle, goats, and sheep, while HFMD is a human disease that typically affects infants and children. FMD is contagious among certain types of animals, but it has not been considered a public health threat.

Causes of hand, foot, and mouth disease

It is caused by enterovirus category of viruses. These viruses are spread by the oral and fecal route. They are usually found in the infected patient’s saliva, nose mucus, feces, and blister fluid. Transmission methods Close and personal contact with an infected person Airborne viruses spread by coughing and sneezing Touching contaminated objects Direct or indirect contact with infected feces.

Risk factors of hand, foot, and mouth disease
Children under 10 years of age, and especially under 5, are most at risk from HFMD. This is because many have not yet developed the appropriate antibodies that fight the disease. Children who are active in childcare centers or schools and have regular contact with other children have an increased risk of being infected.

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Symptoms of hand, foot, and mouth disease Rash with blisters on the soles of the feet
Rash with flat, non-itching red blisters on the hands and soles of the feet 1 to 2 days after fever Loss of appetite Headache Throat, mouth, and tongue ulcers.

Complications of hand, foot, and mouth disease
Complications for HFMD are rare as the disease clears up on its own within a week or two, but, if left untreated in some individuals, it can become a major disease condition and complications which include: Meningitis – inflammation of the brain and spinal cord Encephalitis – inflammation of the brain Acute flaccid paralysis – weakening of the respiratory muscles and swallowing Dehydration Cardiorespiratory failure.

Diagnosis of hand, foot, and mouth disease
Diagnosis can be made by examining the disease’s main signs and symptoms where the doctor looks for sores or blisters on the feet, hands, and genitals. They may also examine other common symptoms of the disease such as fever, headache, and sore throat. Laboratory studies may be necessary in some instances where a clinical diagnosis is needed. Doctors may look for related antibodies in the blood, or collect throat or stool samples for examination.

Prevention and treatment of HFMD
Disinfecting surfaces Wash hands often with soap and hot water Avoid sharing eating utensils and drinking cups
At present, specific treatments for HFMD are nonexistent. Over-the-counter medications that relieve pain and fever may be helpful in some instances. Numbing mouthwashes or sprays may help reduce mouth pain, which can be helpful for increasing fluid and food intake.

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