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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Hand-Foot-And-Mouth Disease
      Category : Health Centers > Infections (Infectious Diseases)

Hand-Foot-And-Mouth Disease

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Hand-foot-and-mouth (HFM) disease is a viral infection with a characteristic rash. It usually occurs in young children.

What is going on in the body?

The viruses that cause HFM disease are easily spread from person to person. The viruses produce a characteristic rash. Most of the time, HFM disease is caused by the Coxsackievirus A16. This is a member of a viral subgroup known as enteroviruses. It has no relation to foot-and-mouth disease, a viral infection often found in farm animals.

What are the causes and risks of the disease?

HFM disease is more common in the summer and fall months. The viruses infect humans only and are passed in feces. They can be spread when a person with contaminated hands touches food or objects that are put into the child's mouth. Less commonly, the viruses are passed through respiratory secretions or mouth-to-mouth contact.

Factors that put a person at risk for the disease include:

  • age less than 5 years
  • crowded living conditions
  • poor sanitation


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    Hand-Foot-And-Mouth Disease: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: John Wegmann, MD
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 09/12/01

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