Common contagious infection that affects young children and causes sores to form in the mouth, on the hands, feet, buttocks, and sometimes the genitals.
What are the symptoms?
- Malaise (feeling 'out of sorts')
- Fever, usually of sudden onset
- Sore throat
- Poor appetite
- Irritability, especially in young children
Rashes appear after 1-2 days :
- Small red spots that progress to blisters then tender ulcers
- Blisters in and around the mouth
- Red lumps and blisters on palms and sole of foot
- Blisters may also appear on limbs, buttocks, and genitals
How does it spread?
Body fluids like saliva or fecal matter. Virus can live in the body for weeks or even months after the symptoms have gone away.
Is it serious?
Usually not. Most children have a mild illness and usually recover in 4 - 6 days.
- Ibrufen or Paracetamol prescribed by doctor for fever and pain
- Encourage soft foods and drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration
How to prevent the spread?
- Always wash hands after touching sick child
- Sanitise toys and items that the child comes in contact with
- Stay indoors and reduce contact with others
- Inform school of HFMD case so that they can take preventive measures in school premise
By : Dr Chen Yiming
Family Physician, MBBS (Singapore), GDFM (NUS), GDFP Dermatology (NUS)