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


Q: My son is only 3 years old. He began having a fever yesterday and I found a blister in on his tongue this morning. Is it hand-foot-and-mouth disease that he has? What are the symptoms of this disease?

A: Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is caused by a virus. The main infectors are children under 10. But this does not mean that adults are immune to the virus. A few adults suffer from the disease, too. The symptoms of HFMD are a little bit different on children and adults.

Early signs are pretty like those of a flu. It seems that the patient has a fever with a sore throat. However, if parents take care of the ill child closely, they will find blisters in the child’s mouth, both on his tongue and his lips, which lead to the loss of appetite because of the pain the blisters caused. Other common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, generalized discomfort and feeling tiredness. Due to the discomfort brought by the HFDM, infants and toddlers often become irritable.

The patient will have a rash on his palms and soles one or tow days after he has the fever. What follow later are the blisters. Painful rash, sores and ulcers may also show up on the buttocks, elbows and knees. Children seldom feel itchy with the rash and blisters, while they can be extremely itchy for adults.

Generally, the disease is harmless. It can resolve on its own after 7-10 days. But it may also develop into some dangerous complications if not treated timely and appropriately.

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* 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.