Hand foot and mouth disease (HDMD) is contagious, which means it can spread from one person to another. The main cause of the disease is a virus.
HFMD prevails commonly among children under the age of five because their immune system has yet to develop against the virus that causes it. Despite this, older kids and even adults can be affected by Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease. People usually get this disease during summer and fall season. The prognosis of this disease is good; hence it does not come under the category of the serious and fatal diseases. People usually recover after a week to ten days without any medical assistance and treatment.
The rare complication of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease is viral meningitis, but that hardly ever happens. However, if it does, the infected person needs to be hospitalized instantly. Further complications include paralysis similar to polio, encephalitis, inflammation of the brain which could be fatal.
The main symptoms of HMFD include rashes on the hands, feet and buttocks, as well as sores in the mouth. Other symptoms include fever, sore throat, a reduction in the appetite and malaise.
The incubation period is three to ten days and they usually appear step by step in different stages. Furthermore, dehydration is a common complication of HMFD. Sore throat can make it painful for the patient to swallow. Counsel the patient that they should sip liquids on a frequent basis. Severe dehydration warrants giving of Intravenous fluids, hence staying hydrated is necessary.
The rare complications of HMFG are:
Viral meningitis, which presents as fever like symptoms, lethargy, neck stiffness and tiredness as well as headaches.
Inflammation of the brain, also known as encephalitis causes flu like symptoms, seizures and delirium.
Hand foot and mouth disease has no specific treatment. The pain and fever can be managed using over-the-counter medications such as paracetamol and ibuprofen. However, the use of Aspirin is strictly prohibited because it comes with the risk of Reye’s syndrome. The children should drink plenty of fluids in the form of water and juices to prevent dehydration.