Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD)
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Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD)

Paediatrics

Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD) is a common childhood infectious disease, typically caused by enteroviruses, especially coxsackievirus and enterovirus 71. This virus is easily transmitted through contact with infected individuals' respiratory secretions, oral secretions, blister fluid, or faeces. It primarily affects children under 5 years old but can also infect adults.

Symptoms

Symptoms of HFMD include:

  • Fever: The early stages of hand, foot, and mouth disease typically come with mild to moderate fever.
  • Oral ulcers: Patients may experience oral ulcers and throat pain, making swallowing difficult.
  • Loss of appetite: Patients may experience decreased appetite due to oral discomfort.
  • General discomfort: Fatigue, restlessness, or irritability may occur.
  • Vomiting and diarrhoea: In some cases, children may experience symptoms of vomiting and diarrhoea.
  • Rash and blisters:
  1. On hands and feet: Painless red spots may develop into painful blisters. Blisters typically appear on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet but can also occur on the knees, buttocks, or arms and legs.
  2. Inside the mouth: Ulcers are another typical symptom of hand, foot, and mouth disease, usually on the tongue, gums, and cheeks. These ulcers can be excruciating, making eating and drinking difficult.

Diagnosis & Treatments

Diagnosis Methods

  • Clinical diagnosis: Doctors typically diagnose hand, foot, and mouth disease based on the patient's clinical presentation, such as fever, sore throat, red rash and blisters on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, mouth ulcers, etc.
  • Medical history inquiry: Understanding if the patient has recently been in contact with individuals with hand, foot, and mouth disease or if there is an outbreak of hand, foot, and mouth disease in the community or school environment.
  • Laboratory tests: In some cases, if the diagnosis is unclear, doctors may request viral isolation and culture of oral swabs or stool samples to determine which type of enterovirus is the pathogen.


Treatment Methods
There is currently no specific medication for hand, foot, and mouth disease, and treatment mainly focuses on symptom relief:

  • Maintaining adequate hydration: Diarrhoea and vomiting can lead to dehydration, so it's essential to ensure the patient consumes enough fluids. Trying ice chips or frozen fruit juice may be helpful for children having difficulty drinking water.
  • Antipyretic and analgesic drugs: Drugs like ibuprofen or paracetamol can relieve fever and pain symptoms. However, they should be used according to the doctor's instructions, and it's important not to give aspirin to children under 12.
  • Oral care: Rinsing with salt water or using special analgesic oral gels can help alleviate pain for mouth ulcers.
  • Dietary adjustments: Avoid providing spicy, acidic, or hard foods, as these may irritate mouth ulcers. It's recommended to offer cool, soft, and easy-to-swallow foods.
  • Personal hygiene: Maintaining good personal hygiene, such as frequent handwashing, can help prevent the spread of the disease.
  • Rest: Adequate rest is also essential for recovery.

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HEAL Medical

1331, 13th Floor, Central Building, 1-3 Pedder Street, Central, Hong Kong
Mon - Fri 8:30am - 5:30pm
Sat 8:30am - 1:00pm

HEAL Oncology

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HEAL Aesthetic

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