Babies and children less than five years of age are most susceptible to catching hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD).
This disease occurs commonly in this age bracket as it takes time for the human body to develop immunity to the virus that causes HFMD. While older children and adults can contract HFMD, it is less common.
Outbreaks (when many individuals in one area suddenly develop the condition) of HFMD happen around the globe. Such outbreaks may be more common in Asia. There were almost two million cases of HFMD in China in the year 2015.
The largest outbreak happened in Taiwan in 1998, and over 12o,000 people were afflicted at this time. In the US, outbreaks are rare.
Suncoast Skin Solutions, led by board certified dermatologist Dr. Christopher Ewanowski, provides advanced dermatology treatments to patients in Tampa, Brandon, Lutz, Seminole, Riverview, Brooksville, Winter Haven, Daytona Beach, Largo, St. Petersburg, Ocala, Sarasota, Palm Harbor, Central Florida, Florida, and surrounding communities.
Symptoms of HFMD
Most signs and symptoms clear within 7 to 10 days when a child catches HFMD. The following may occur during this time:
For the initial one to two days, the child may feel unwell and display one of the following symptoms:
- A sore throat
- A mild fever
- Stomach pain
- Loss of appetite
Days 3–7 (or longer)
The above symptoms tend to clear in one or two days, and the following may occur:
- An itchy rash, often on the feet, hands, or both
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
- Mouth sores
A majority of children have a few painful mouth sores, which often occur on the tongue. Sores can also develop in other areas of the mouth, including the roof of the mouth. Sores tend to start developing as bright pink spots or tiny bumps and subsequently turn into blisters, which can be painful.
An itchy rash tends to occur on the feet or hands. But it can also develop in other areas of the body, such as the elbows or knees.
A child can develop all the signs and symptoms of this disease, but most children only have a few.
Signs and Symptoms in Adults
A majority of adults who contract HFMD do not develop any signs or symptoms. If they do, the signs and symptoms are the same as those that occur in children.
The signs and symptoms clear rapidly. Most signs and symptoms clear within 7 to 10 days. Children below the age of two years may remain sick for longer as it may take their bodies more time to eliminate the virus.
What causes HFMD?
HFMD is a contagious disease which spreads when a person who has HFMD passes a virus that leads to the disease to another person. There are various viruses that can cause this disease.
In order to catch a virus that causes HFMD, a person typically needs to be in close proximity to the infected individual. A person can get this virus when they:
- Swallow (or breathe in) droplets of infected mucus, salvia, or feces
- Touch fluid from a blister caused by HFMD
- Handle a contaminated article, such as a doorknob
A person can also get HFMD when they swallow water from a swimming pool with particles of infected feces.
Dr. Ewanowski’s skin care clinic receives patients from Tampa, Brandon, Lutz, Seminole, Riverview, Brooksville, Winter Haven, Daytona Beach, Largo, St. Petersburg, Ocala, Sarasota, Palm Harbor, Central Florida, Florida, and nearby areas for dermatologic as well as medical spa procedures.
SunCoast Skin Solutions Dermatology offices are located in Tampa / Hillsborough, St. Petersburg / Pinellas County, Brandon, Lutz (2 locations), Winter Haven, Largo, Riverview, Brooksville, Ocala, Largo at Bardmoor, Daytona Beach, Sarasota, and Palm Harbor, Florida. Contact us at 1-844-786-3376 or click here.