Encyclopedia > Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

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Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is caused by a number of enteroviruses[?], such as enterovirus 17. HFMD is not to be confused with foot and mouth disease, which is a disease affecting sheep, cattle and swine, and which is completely unrelated to HFMD.

HFMD usually affects infants and children, and is quite common. It is moderately contagious and is spread through direct contact with the mucus or feces of an infected person.


Symptoms of HFMD include:

  • fever
  • rash in the mouth
  • sores with blisters on palms of hands and soles of feet

Not all symptoms may be present.


There is no specific treatment for HFMD. Individual symptoms such as fever and pain from the sores may be eased with the use of medications, however.

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