Thursday, April 19, 2018 by Michelle Simmons
Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is a common viral disease that often affects babies and children below five years old. Nonetheless, it can also occur in older children and adults. It is caused by viruses that belong to the Enterovirus group, which includes polioviruses, coxsackieviruses, echoviruses, and other enteroviruses. Coxsackievirus A16 is typically the most common cause of HFMD in the U.S.
HFMD is characterized by blisters or sores in the mouth and rash on the hands and feet. This disease is contagious and easily spreads from person to person through contact with unwashed hands, feces, saliva, mucus from the nose, or fluid from the blisters.
Aside from mouth sores and rashes on the hands and feet, the disease also causes sore throat, fever, loss of appetite, irritability and headache. These symptoms typically occur between three and seven days after first contact with the virus. This period is known as the incubation period.
Although rare, the disease can also lead to other complications, such as viral meningitis, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), and fingernail and toenail loss.
The body systems harmed by HFMD include the digestive, lymphatic, and excretory systems.
There is no specific list of foods or nutrients that prevent HFMD. However, it can be prevented by avoiding contact with infected individuals.
Good personal hygiene is also essential to prevent the spread of HFMD. Wash your hands carefully with soap and water, especially after contact with any bodily secretion or blister-like skin lesions. Use separate eating and drinking utensils, and avoid sharing items of personal hygiene such as towels, toothbrushes, and even clothing items like socks and shoes.
Moreover, thoroughly wash the soiled clothing and any item that was held by an infected child such as toys to avoid further contamination. Lastly, teach older kids about cough and sneeze etiquette, proper disposal of used tissues, and washing their hands afterward.
Since HFMD is a mild illness and goes away within a few days, there is no specific treatment for it and usually none is required. Its management plans are often targeted to relieve its symptoms.
To relieve its symptoms, drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. However, avoid acidic drinks, such as fruit juice because it may worsen the pain with mouth sores. Its symptoms can also be relieved by eating soft foods like soup, but avoiding hot and spicy foods, and using natural remedies such as baking soda to help relieve mouth ulcers and sore throat. Furthermore, let blisters dry naturally and do not pierce them because the fluid within them is infectious.
Hand, foot and mouth disease is caused by viruses that belong to the Enterovirus group, which includes polioviruses, coxsackieviruses, and echoviruses.
Hand, foot and mouth disease causes mouth sores, rashes on the hands and feet, sorethroat, fever, loss of appetite, and headache.
It can also result in other complications, including viral meningitis, encephalitis or inflammation of the brain, and fingernail and toenail loss.
The disease can be prevented by avoiding contact with infected individuals and teaching good hygiene to kids such as regular washing of hands.
Tagged Under: Tags: Hand foot and mouth disease