Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) is a common viral illness that usually affects younger children. However, it can sometimes occur in adults. Symptoms include fever, blister-like sores in the mouth, and a skin rash. 

There is no specific treatment for HFMD. However, some things can be done to relieve symptoms:

  • Taking over-the-counter medications to relieve pain and fever
  • Using mouthwashes or sprays that numb mouth pain 

The viruses that cause HFMD can be found in an infected person’s:

  • nose and throat secretions (such as saliva, sputum, or nasal mucus)
  • blister fluid
  • feces (stool)

An infected person may spread the viruses that cause HFMD through:

  • Close personal contact
  • The air (through coughing or sneezing)
  • Contact with feces
  • Contaminated objects and surfaces

Lower your risk

  • Wash your hands 
    Be sure to wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, especially after using the toilet, before preparing food, and eating. When soap and water aren't available, use hand wipes or gels treated with germ-killing alcohol.
  • Frequently clean and disinfect touched surfaces 
    First clean with soap and water, then clean with a diluted solution of chlorine bleach and water or use disinfecting wipes (like Clorox).
  • Disinfect soiled items
  • Avoid close contact
    Avoid kissing, hugging, or sharing eating utensils or cups with people who have HFMD.

Prevention is key

There is no vaccine to protect agains the viruses that cause hand, foot, and mouth disease. If you have questions, or need medical assistance, please call 603-862-2856 to speak with a nurse. 

For more information visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).