Hand-Foot-And-Mouth Syndrome (cont.)

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What is the course of hand foot and mouth disease?

The illness is characteristically self-limited and is usually resolved within a week, particularly when due to its most common cause, Coxsackie virus A-16. In those outbreaks due to enterovirus 71, the illness may be more severe with complications such as viral meningitis and encephalitis and paralytic disease. As a rule, HFM is generally a mild and self-limited illness.

Why haven't we heard more about hand foot and mouth disease?

Recognition of hand foot and mouth disease is relatively recent (as compared to mumps, measles, and chickenpox, for example). HFM was first reported in 1956 in Australia. By the early 1960s, it had emerged as a common childhood illness around the world.

How is hand foot and mouth disease diagnosed?

Usually, the diagnosis of HFM is made on a combination of clinical history and characteristic physical findings. Laboratory confirmation is rarely necessary unless severe complications develop.

What is the treatment for hand foot and mouth disease?

Therapy for HFM is directed toward symptomatic relief of fever and sore throat. Antibiotics are not indicated for this viral disease.

Medically reviewed by Robert Cox, MD; American Board of Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Infectious Disease

REFERENCE:

American Academy of Pediatrics. Red Book: 2009 Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases. 28th ed. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics, 2009.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/11/2014

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