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What is Hand Foot and Mouth Disease?

Hand foot and mouth disease causes sores on the feet, hands, mouth and rarely legs and buttocks. But this condition lasts for only about a week. Children are commonly afflicted especially in fall and summer, but adults can become victims too. In this article, we look at the causes, symptoms and treatments for hand foot and mouth disease. 

<strong>Causes</strong>  
It is caused by the enterovirus which spreads through sneezing and coughing. Infected stool can spread this disease too. The virus incubates for a few days after which symptoms appear. 

<strong>Symptoms</strong>
Tiredness, sore throat and fever are common symptoms. After a couple of days, blisters or sores may show on the feet, hands, mouth and rarely buttocks. A skin rash could show up too. Sometimes, the symptoms are very mild and in rare cases may not appear at all. The infected child may pass on the disease to his/her parents. 

<strong>Diagnosis of hand foot and mouth disease</strong>
The blisters, sores and other symptoms are often enough for the doctor to diagnose this condition. Therefore, tests are rarely required. 

<strong>Treatments for Hand foot and mouth disease</strong>
This condition does not need any special treatment. The following home care tips can help to relieve the symptoms:
<ul>
	<li>The child must be given cool liquids to soothe their sore throat. You can also give the patient ice cream or ice pops.</li>
	<li>Avoid giving spicy or acidic foodstuff and drinks to your child as these can cause more pain in the mouth sores.</li>
	<li>To treat fever and pain, you can give ibuprofen or acetaminophen. But avoid giving aspirin to the child as it has links to an illness called Reye syndrome.</li> </ul>

<strong>How to Prevent Spreading</strong>
Though the child may get cured in a week, the virus could still stay on in their stool for many months and may infect others. Therefore, follow these tips to prevent spreading of the virus and disease: 
<ul>
	<li>Get the green signal from your doctor before sending your child back to school or day care.</li>
	<li>Wear gloves while applying ointment, cream or lotion on your child’s sores or blisters.</li>
	<li>Instruct everybody in the family to thoroughly wash their hands as often as possible. You should also wash your hands after changing the infected child’s diapers.</li>
	<li>Instruct your child not share their toys and other playthings with anybody else.</li>
	<li>Do not kiss or caress your child during the infected period.</li> </ul>

Resource: http://children.webmd.com/tc/hand-foot-and-mouth-disease-topic-overview

To get more information on hand foot and mouth disease, please watch this video:
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