A common illness of infants and children under 10 years old characterized by fever, sores in the mouth, and a rash with blisters due to infection most commonly with coxsackievirus A16 or less often enterovirus 71 or another enterovirus.
The disease begins with a mild fever, poor appetite, malaise (“feeling sick”), and frequently a sore throat. One or 2 days after the fever begins, sores develop in the mouth. They begin as small red spots that blister and then often become ulcers. They are usually located on the tongue, gums, and inside of the cheeks. The skin rash develops over 1 to 2 days with flat or raised red spots, some with blisters. The rash does not itch, and it is usually located on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. It may also appear on the buttocks. One may have only the rash or the mouth ulcers.
Picture of characteristic rash and blisters of hand foot and mouth disease
Hand, foot, and mouth disease caused by coxsackievirus A16 infection is a mild disease and children usually recover with no medical treatment in 7 to 10 days. Rarely, this illness may be associated with “aseptic” or viral meningitis, in which the person has fever, headache, stiff neck, or back pain, and may need to be hospitalized for a few days.
Another cause of hand, foot, and mouth disease, enterovirus 71 may also cause viral meningitis and, rarely, more serious diseases, such as encephalitis, or a poliomyelitis-like paralysis. Enterovirus 71 encephalitis may be fatal.
Hand, foot, and mouth disease is moderately contagious. Infection is spread from person to person by direct contact with nose and throat discharges or the stool of infected persons. A person is most contagious during the first week of the illness. The incubation period (from infection to onset of symptoms) is 3 to 7 days. Everyone is susceptible to infection. Infection results in immunity to the specific virus, but a second episode may occur following infection with a different member of the enterovirus group.
Individual cases and outbreaks of occur worldwide, more frequently in summer and early autumn. No specific treatment is available. Symptomatic treatment is given to provide relief from fever, aches, or pain from the mouth ulcers. Preventive measures include frequent handwashing, especially after diaper changes; disinfection of contaminated surfaces by household cleaners (such as diluted bleach solution made by mixing 1 capful of household bleach containing chlorine with 1 gallon water), and washing soiled articles of clothing. Children are often excluded from child care programs, schools, or other group settings during the first few days of the illness. These measures may reduce the spread of infection, but they will not completely interrupt it.
- Hand-arm vibration syndrome
A disorder resulting from prolonged exposure to vibration, specifically to the hands and forearms while using vibrating tools. Symptoms include numbness, tingling, and loss of nerve sensitivity. The hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) is a painful and potentially disabling condition of the fingers, hands, and arms due to vibration. There is initially a tingling sensation with […]
- Hand-foot-and-mouth syndrome
coxsackievirus A16. In those outbreaks due to enterovirus 71, the illness may be more severe with complications such as viral meningitis and encephalitis and paralytic disease. However, hand-foot-and-mouth disease as a rule is, fortunately, mild and self-limited. The condition was first reported in 1956 in Australia and by the early 60s had emerged as a […]
- Hand-foot-and-mouth disease
most often Coxsackievirus A16, but also other coxsackieviruses and enterovirus 71. The incubation period is short, usually 4 to 6 days. The disease occurs most frequently in summer and fall. The illness is characteristically mild and self-limited. Also known as hand-foot-and-mouth syndrome and hand, foot, and mouth disease or syndrome.
The preferential use of one hand for most fine manual tasks. Right handedness is the preferential use of the right hand while left handedness is the preferential use of the left hand for most fine manual tasks. Being able to use both hands equally well is known as being ambidextrous. Approximately 90% of the population […]
- Hangman's fracture
A broken neck involving a fracture of an upper cervical vertebra similar to the injury suffered in death by hanging. The fracture affects the vertebra called the axis, the second cervical vertebra (C2), with or without subluxation (slippage) of C2 on the third cervical vertebra (C3).