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What is Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease?

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is caused by a virus that is typically spread through fecal-oral contact. Encourage your children to practice good hand-washing habits before eating and after they use the bathroom.

What is the treatment for hand-foot-and-mouth disease?

Unfortunately, antibiotics are not effective against viral infections like hand-foot-and- mouth disease. However, there are still measures you can take if your child is diagnosed with the illness.

Treatment for hand-foot-and-mouth disease focuses on mitigating the severity of symptoms:

  • Dehydration: Increase fluid intake
  • Fever: Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen
  • Mouth Pain: Use anesthetic mouth rinses or sprays

How can I help prevent the spread of hand-foot-and-mouth disease?

Remove your child or children from school or daycare upon diagnosis. While antibiotics are not effective against viral infections, symptoms typically resolve within a week. However, infected persons can still transmit the virus for 1-2 weeks after symptoms disappear.

In the event that your child is diagnosed with hand-foot-and-mouth disease, ensure contaminated surfaces in your home are cleaned routinely with sanitizers or disinfectants.

Be sure to follow up with your child’s health care provider to track the progress of symptoms and ensure a full recovery.

Jessica McCool, MD

Methodist Physicians Clinic Council Bluffs

Dr. Jessica McCool is a Family Medicine Physician who strives to get to know the whole family and care for every member from the children to the grandparents.       KETV Mommy Minutes ...

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