Hand, Foot, & Mouth Disease

Hand, Foot, & Mouth Disease

Public Health Fact Sheet

What is Hand, Foot, & Mouth Disease?
Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease is an illness caused by a virus. It occurs most frequently among children under 10, although adults can get it too. The disease begins with a mild fever, malaise, and poor appetite and then small blister-like sores appear on the inside of the mouth, palms, fingers, and soles of the feet.

How is Hand, Foot, & Mouth Disease spread?
Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease is spread by direct contact with nose and throat discharges, saliva, and fluid from blisters. It may be spread as long as the blisters/rash are are present, and as long as several weeks via the stool of an infected person.

How is Hand, Foot, & Mouth Disease treated?
There is no specific treatment Hand, Foot, & Mouth Disease. Treatment involves treatments for symptom management. Monitor fluid intake. Children may become dehydrated if they are not able to swallow enough fluids due to pain from blisters in the mouth. If your child becomes dehydrated seek medical care.

Can Hand, Foot, & Mouth Disease be prevented? 
There is no specific medicine or vaccine to prevent Hand, Foot, & Mouth Disease.  Encourage good hand washing and personal hygiene.  Wash soiled clothing, and discard used tissues.  Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough.  Exclude infected children from day-care or school until fever has disappeared and new sores are not developing.

Additional information is available on the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/hand-foot-mouth/
Symptoms of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

  • Begins with fever, malaise, poor appetite, and frequently a sore throat
  • Small, blister-like sores on the inside of mouth (lasting up to 10 days)
  • Small sores resembling a rash (with flat or raised red spots, some with blisters) on the palms, fingers and soles of the feet
February 2020