Hand Foot and Mouth Disease


Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) is an infection of the mouth, palms of hands, fingers and soles of the feet, caused by coxsackie virus. The incubation period is usually three to seven days.

Signs and symptoms of HFMD usually begin with a sudden sore throat and low grade fever that last 1-2 days. Loss of appetite and small red spots may appear in the mouth and throat, lips, fingers, hands, and feet. These blisters break easily and can last 7-10 days. At least half of all children with this infection have no symptoms.

HFMD is spread by infectious germs that leave the body of an infected person through the nasal discharges, saliva, and stool of an infected person and enter another person when contaminated hands, food or objects are placed in the mouth. HFMD is not transmitted to or from animals or pets.

There is no specific treatment for HFMD. Call your medical provider with questions.

To help prevent the spread of HFMD parents are encouraged to teach the importance of basic hygiene measures such as covering the mouth when coughing or sneezing and frequent, proper hand washing before any activity that brings hands in contact with the mouth (e.g., eating and drinking). Parents should emphasize the importance of proper disposal of used tissues; prompt hand washing after handling articles soiled with oral secretions or discharges from the nose and immediately after diaper changing or toileting; and not sharing glasses, straws, water bottles, eating utensils, etc.

Children with HFMD will be excluded from school if fever is present. Children should be given plenty of rest and liquids.

Woodridge 68 is proactive in doing their part to keep students and staff healthy. We are passing along this information as a helpful resource so you can do your part in controlling the spread of disease and protecting the health of your child and others.

Information about Hand Foot and Mouth Disease from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention