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Hand Foot and Mouth Disease

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is an illness caused by a virus that results in a distinctive rash — small, blister-like bumps in the mouth, and on the hands and feet. The blisters may also appear in the diaper area and on the legs and arms. The lesions in the mouth usually appear on the tongue, the sides of the cheeks or near the throat.


What causes hand-foot-and-mouth disease? 

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is caused by a virus. The most common viruses that cause hand-foot-mouth-disease include the following:

  • Coxsackie virus

  • Other enteroviruses

School Bus & Children

This disease is very common in children, particularly children under the age of 10. It is seen most often in the summer and fall. The virus is usually spread through fecal-oral contact, although other modes of transmission have been reported. Good handwashing is necessary to help prevent the spread of the disease.

The following are the most common symptoms of hand-foot-and-mouth disease. However, each child may experience symptoms differently.


Symptoms may include:

  • Blister-like bumps in the mouth (on the tongue, the cheeks, and near the throat and tonsils)

  • Blister-like bumps on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet; bumps may also be seen on the arms, legs, and diaper area

  • Mild fever


How is hand-foot-and-mouth disease diagnosed? 

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is usually diagnosed based on a complete history and physical examination of your child. The rash of hand-foot-mouth disease is unique, and usually allows for a diagnosis simply on physical examination.

Treatment for hand-foot-and-mouth disease: 

Specific treatment for hand-foot-and-mouth disease will be determined by a Willis Urgent Care clinician on:

  • Your child's age, overall health and medical history

  • Extent of the disease

  • Your child's tolerance for specific medications, procedures or therapies

  • Expectations for the course of the disease

  • Your opinion or preference


The goal of treatment for hand-foot-and-mouth disease is to help decrease the severity of the symptoms. Since it is a viral infection, antibiotics are ineffective.


Treatment may include:

  • Increased fluid intake to prevent dehydration — provide cool, iced fluids in small amounts frequently

  • Acetaminophen for any fever

***Proper handwashing is essential in helping to prevent the disease from being spread to other children.


For more information on Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease see the following websites:



Disclaimer: The links above are to sites independent of Willis Urgent Care. The information provided is for educational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your doctor. Always follow your doctor’s recommendations regarding your specific medical questions, treatments, therapies, and other needs.


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