Hand Foot and Mouth Disease - Causes

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What causes hand, foot, and mouth disease?

HFMD is caused by several members of the enterovirus family of viruses. The most common cause is Coxsackievirus A16; less frequently enterovirus 71 is the infectious agent. The clinical manifestations of routine HFMD are the same regardless of the responsible virus. However, patients infected with enterovirus 71 are more likely to experience rare complications (for example, viral meningitis or cardiac muscle involvement).

Picture of characteristic rash and blisters of hand, foot, and mouth disease
Picture of characteristic rash and blisters of hand, foot, and mouth disease
Picture of characteristic mouth sores of hand, foot, and mouth disease
Picture of characteristic mouth sores of hand, foot, and mouth disease
Return to Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

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Comment from: hithere, 3-6 Female (Caregiver) Published: January 20

My sister had an extremely bad cough and was diagnosed with bronchitis last week. This week her grandson has a fever of unknown origin, pink eye and possibly Coxsackie virus (hand, foot, and mouth disease). I wonder if she could have infected the 5 year old.

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Comment from: SoKatiiee, (Patient) Published: June 06

I got hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) from my little brother who got it from a kid from high school. This is day 2 of the disease for me and I'm hoping it gets over now. It is the worst feeling in the world. Yesterday I was fatigued and ran a fever of 101.9 before taking some flu medicine and going to bed. This morning I woke up to a blister where a pimple that I had popped days ago was, and itchiness everywhere including my head, hands, and feet. I also have developed a pimple like bump on the outside of both nostrils that are making my nose run. Only thing for me is that I only have one visible bump/blister like thing that is on my left ring finger where a ring would be placed. Hopefully I will not be seeing those ugly things, however I am not holding my breath! As for my brothers that both had it, the middle child that got it from my youngest brother had bumps all over his body, sore throat, sores on his nose and pain in both his feet and hands. The one that contracted the disease also had bumps all over his hands and feet, blisters on his hands, thorn like pain in his hands and a sore throat.

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