Hand, Foot and Mouth

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

 
More than a dozen college students at Florida State University (FSW) are sick with hand, foot and mouth disease.
So what exactly is hand, foot and mouth disease?  It is a common viral disease that usually affects infants and children under the age of 5 years old.  However, it can sometimes occur in adults.
What are the signs and symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease?
  • fever
  • reduced appetite
  • sore throat
  • a feeling of being unwell (malaise)
  • painful mouth sores
  • skin rash on hands and feet
One or two days after the fever starts, painful sores develop in the mouth.  They begin in the back of the mouth as small red spots that blister and can become ulcers.
A skin rash with red spots and sometimes with blisters, may also develop over one or two days on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.  It may also appear on the knees, elbows, buttocks or genital area.
Also, some people may become dehydrated from not being able to swallow liquids due to the painful sores in their mouth.
Not everyone will get all of the symptoms.  Some people, especially adults may show no symptoms but can still pass on the virus.
There is no specific treatment for hand, foot and mouth disease.  You can use over the counter medication to reduce fever and pain (Aspirin should not be given to children). Mouthwash will numb the mouth from the painful sores.
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