Can Adults Get Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease?

Q: I had a fever yesterday and I found that there are painful blisters in my mouth. My son got recovered from hand, foot and mouth disease about a week ago. Maybe I was infected because of him. But I’m 36. Can adults have this disease?

A: The majority patients with hand-foot-and-mouth disease are children under the age of 5, but adults can also be infected by the same viruses. Some parents get the disease from taking care of their ill children with it, because they did not pay enough attention on prevention. They think they are adults and is infection-free with the disease, but it is not true.

Viruses can be found in a patient’s blister fluid and stool, so a parent should be careful while dealing with these things. Close contact is inevitable for a parent who has to look after his ill child. Yet he can wear a mask to avoid transmission of the viruses through the patient’s coughing and sneezing. Besides, the adult can wash his hands often with soap and water, clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and soiled items, including toys, and avoid close contact such as kissing, hugging, or sharing eating utensils or cups with his child.

As you have already got infected, the only thing you can do is to wait for your immune system to kill all the viruses. You took care of your child when he had it, so you should know it is not a serious disease and will be gone in less than 10 days.

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Related FAQs:

What Happens to a Person’s Hands, Feet and Mouth in HFMD?

What Are the Symptoms of Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease?

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.