Hand-foot-mouth disease in children

Hand-foot-mouth disease in children

One of the causes of hand-foot-mouth disease in children is the RNA virus. Among them are Coxsackie A16, Enterovirus A71, and some echo viruses. The disease is highly contagious. But there is no complication. Children aged 5 to 10 years are more affected by this disease. Infected children develop symptoms within three to six days. The disease can occur multiple times.

How does it spread?

A. direct contact with the patient’s body;

B. discharge from blisters after infection;

C. Sneeze and cough ‘droplets’ and d. through stool. Contact with another infected child infects the child. There is no vaccine.

Usually, the disease can last from three to six days or up to a week. Patients typically recover from the disease within 7 to 10 days. The incidence of this disease increases during the monsoons, usually in August and September. This disease also occurs at the end of the winter and spring.

What are the symptoms?

Initial symptoms are similar to those of a common viral fever. A day or two after the onset of fever, a rash may appear on the inside of the mouth, hands, feet, or buttocks—painful blisters, but not itchy. Depending on the baby’s skin color, the rash may appear red, white, gray, or as small spots. A rash usually appears three to five days after the onset of a fever.

Differences with spring:

Many parents confuse the symptoms with chicken pox. In spring, there is severe pain in the body and a fever. There is a headache, a loss of appetite, and a mild stomachache. The rash can appear anywhere on the body. Water blisters contain fluid. Similar blisters all over the body, which swell and eventually burst.


In this disease the child should be given soup, plenty of water and soft food. Paracetamol can be given for fever and pain. Antihistamines are given for itching.

However, if the body becomes dehydrated, if there is a high fever, chills during the fever and if the pain does not improve within 7 to 10 days, a doctor should be consulted.


If proper hygiene is followed, the patient recovers quickly. It is important to follow some rules so that the infection does not spread.

  • Use of masks and gloves during patient care.
  • Gloves should be used while cleaning dishes, glasses, bowls, spoons used by the patient.
  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap or handwash after caring for the patient.
  • It is better not to send children to school at this time.
  • Applying mouthwash, local anesthetic jelly to relieve facial pain.

Professor Dr. Imnul Islam, Head of Department, Children’s Department, Alok Healthcare Limited, Mirpur, Dhaka


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