Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD)

Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD)

Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD) is a viral illness that commonly affects infants and children but can also occur in adults. The most common cause of HFMD is the coxsackievirus, particularly the strains A16 and Enterovirus 71. The disease is highly contagious and spreads through person-to-person contact, typically via respiratory droplets from coughing or sneezing, as well as through contact with contaminated surfaces.

The characteristic symptoms of HFMD include:

Fever: HFMD often starts with a fever, which is usually followed by other symptoms.
Sore Throat: A sore throat is a common early symptom of HFMD.
Painful Sores: Small, red spots that can turn into blisters may appear on the hands, feet, and sometimes the buttocks. These sores can be painful and may make walking and other activities uncomfortable.
Mouth Sores: Painful sores may also develop inside the mouth, on the tongue, gums, and inside of the cheeks.
Loss of Appetite: Due to the sore throat and mouth sores, individuals with HFMD may experience a loss of appetite.
Irritability: Infants and young children with HFMD may become irritable due to discomfort from the symptoms.

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The illness is usually self-limiting, and most cases of HFMD resolve on their own without specific treatment. However, it is essential to manage symptoms and provide supportive care, such as ensuring the individual stays hydrated and using over-the-counter pain relievers to reduce fever and alleviate discomfort.

HFMD is generally a mild and self-limiting illness, but complications can occur, especially in severe cases. It’s important to practice good hygiene, such as frequent handwashing, to prevent the spread of the virus. If you suspect that you or your child has HFMD, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate guidance on management and care.

A study shows that enteroviruses can stay on regular surfaces for a long time.

Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) is a disease that spreads easily and mostly affects young children in the Asia-Pacific area. The virus can be spread by coming into close contact with secretions from the nose and throat, surfaces, furnishings, and the environment. Also, school toys for kids may play a big part in HFMD surface-to-hand transfer. Another way to stop HFMD spread at schools is to use heat to deactivate the devices.

Previous research has looked into how stable enteroviruses are on different surfaces and how heat can kill them. However, there haven’t been many reports of studies looking at entervirus-A71 (EV-A71) and coxsackievirus A16 (CVA16) on the surfaces of kids’ school toys.

The authors of this study showed that EV-A71 and CVA16 lost their ability to spread within a few hours on all three surfaces. However, the viral RNA could be found for up to 28 days. In both tests, the virus was more stable on wood than on the other materials. On the other hand, heat treatment at 60°C for 15 minutes, which can be done again and again without hurting toys, was enough to kill both types of enterovirus.

The study’s results made it clear that enteroviruses can stay on common surfaces for a long time. This showed that these viruses could be indirectly spread to children. Inactivation by heat is a good way to stop the spread of germs in schools, and it can be used in addition to disinfection programs that usually need soap and water.

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