Everything you Need to Know About Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease

If you have young children, you have probably came in contact with hand, foot and mouth disease. But what exactly is hand-foot and mouth disease?

Hand-foot and mouth disease is a viral illness and is most common in children of 5 years old or younger, because the infection usually spread in childcare centers, preschools, and other closed places, although adults can catch it too.

The illness is caused by the viruses coxsackievirus. These viruses spread from person to person especially through unwashed hands or surfaces contaminated with feces. Another way hand-foot and mouth disease spread is through saliva, stool or respiratory secretions.

Hand-foot and mouth disease is most common at the end of the summer and early fall months, but if you live in tropical parts of the world, it can happen all year round.

Symptoms of Hand-Foot and Mouth Disease

It takes between 3 to 6 days for the symptoms to show once the person has been in infected with the viruses. It is the incubation period, when the viruses spread the most because the person doesn’t know it has the disease.

  • Fever is one of the first symptoms to appear
  • Poor appetite is one of the first symptoms to appear
  • Sore throat and runny nose
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Painful, red blisters in the mouth
  • A red rash on the hands and the soles of the feet is the last symptoms and it appears not just in hands, feet and mouth.

So if you or your children have any of the above symptoms, you should go to your healthcare services right away to confirm it.

The symptoms in adults are very similar, but most often it looks like cold sores instead of the rash and blisters.

The doctor will diagnose the disease by doing a physical exam. He or she will check for any blisters and rashes in your mouth and body, including ask about other symptoms.

The healthcare practitioner can also take a throat swab or stool sample to confirm the diagnosis.

Patient Care

So how is hand-foot and mouth disease is treated? The disease will usually go away 10 days after it appears the first time. However, your healthcare practitioner might also recommend the following treatment:

Topical ointments to soothe blisters and rashes. If your child has blisters in their hands and feet, it is better to keep the area uncovered and apply an antibiotic ointment.

Pain medication to relieve headaches, like acetaminophen or ibuprofen

Medicated syrups to ease painful sore throats

There are other home remedies and precautions that you take to relieve from hand-foot and mouth disease symptoms, such as:

  • Suck on ice
  • Eat ice cream
  • Drink cold beverages
  • Don’t eat citrus fruits
  • Don´t drink fruit juices or soda
  • Avoid any spicy or salty foods
  • Swishing warm salt water around in the mouth. Do it several times a day to help relieve the pain.

If your child is getting worse, remains very irritable and cannot be comforted, call your healthcare services.

You should also keep an eye on dehydration as your children may not take enough fluids due to sore throat. So pay attention if your child has:

  • Dry tongue
  • sunken eyes, or
  • decreased urine output

If this happens, you should call your doctor immediately.

Cost

Healthcare in Malaysia is far more affordable than those in developed countries. This allows patients a chance to get a complete vacation while receiving their treatment.

You will be surprised to see the low overall cost even after the travel cost has been factored in. In addition, Malaysia welcomes patients from anywhere in the world and is more than happy to jump on their cases.

Once you have chosen the private hospital of your choice, you can easily get started with your treatment. Furthermore, with advanced technology and equipment, Malaysia offers cutting-edge treatments that are focused on achieving results.

Prevention

Wash your Hands

To avoid getting hand-foot and mouth disease, you should wash your hands frequently, especially after going to the bathroom or changing diapers, before eating and after going out in the public.

Use soap and warm water and scrub for at least 20 seconds. Rinse well and air dry. You can also use a towel, but if someone at home has the disease, it is better not to use it, until the disease is gone.

Doing this will also help to stop the spread in the house.

Sanitize

You should disinfect any common areas in your home, like bathrooms and kitchen. Also disinfect toys, pacifiers and any other object that your child is in touch with.

Finally, if you or your children has any of the symptoms, it is better to stay at home and avoid contact with others; this will help to stop the spread of the disease to others.