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Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD)

  • Published
    31st Aug, 2022
Context

There has been a spike in cases of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD) in Mumbai.

  • As per data provided by the state’s public health department, till August 28, Maharashtra has reported 250 cases of hand-foot-and-mouth disease.
About

Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease:

  • Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease is common in children under the age of 5, but anyone can get it.
  • It is most commonly caused by a coxsackievirus, which belongs to a group of viruses called nonpolio enteroviruses.
  • The illness is usually not serious, but is very contagious.
  • It spreads quickly at schools and daycare centers.
  • HFMD is a self-limiting disease and most patients recover within a week.

Not the Same as Foot-and-Mouth Disease

  • Hand, foot, and mouth disease is often confused with foot-and-mouth disease (also called hoof-and-mouth disease), which affects cows, sheep, and pigs.
  • Humans do not get the animal disease, and animals do not get the human disease.

Symptoms:

The first signs of hand, foot and mouth disease can be:

  • a sore throat
  • a high temperature
  • not wanting to eat
  • Ulcers appear in the mouth and on the tongue. These can be painful and make it difficult to eat or drink.
  • Raised spots usually appear on the hands and feet, and sometimes on the thighs and bottom as well.
  • The spots can look pink, red, or darker than surrounding skin, depending on your skin tone.
  • The spots become blisters which appear grey or lighter than surrounding skin and can be painful.

How it spreads?

  • It spreads through person-to-person contact when an infected person’s nose secretions or throat discharge, saliva, fluid from blisters, stool or respiratory droplets are sprayed into the air after a cough or sneeze.

Treatment:

  • There's no cure for HFMD or no vaccine to prevent it.
  • Those children with HFMD will have to drink enough water to stay hydrated.
  • The disease will go away without treatment.
  • But, many children will need medication for painful blisters as prescribed by the doctor. It requires symptomatic treatment.

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