Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD)
Hand, foot, and mouth disease is a common viral illness that usually affects infants and children younger than 5 years old. However, it can sometimes occur in adults. Symptoms of hand, foot, and mouth disease include fever, mouth sores, and a skin rash. Read more...
Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease Topics
Describes the disease, its symptoms, complications, how it spreads, how it is diagnosed, prevention, treatment...
Provides basic information about cases and outbreaks of hand, foot, and mouth disease...
Provides references to scientific articles and educational materials...
Lists a feature story and podcast...
Listen to an Expert Talk about HFMD
A CDC pediatrician, who’s also a dad, talks about hand, foot, and mouth disease and its symptoms and provides tips for protecting your family from getting this disease. Listen to the 4-minute podcast.
Severe HFMD in Several States
From November 2011 to February 2012, CDC received reports of people with symptoms of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) in Alabama, California, Connecticut, and Nevada. Some of the people had severe illness and needed to be hospitalized. Read more...
Commonly Confused With Foot-and-Mouth Disease
Hand, foot, and mouth disease is often confused with foot-and-mouth disease, a disease of cattle, sheep, and swine. However, the two diseases are caused by different viruses and are not related. Humans do not get the animal disease, and animals do not get the human disease.
Hand, foot, and mouth disease is spread from person to person through nose and throat secretions (such as saliva, sputum, or nasal mucus), blister fluid, or stool of infected persons. You can lower your risk of being infected by
- Washing your hands often with soap and water
- Disinfecting dirty surfaces and soiled items
- Avoiding close contact such as kissing, hugging, or sharing eating utensils or cups with infected persons
Outbreaks of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease
Large outbreaks of hand, foot, and mouth disease are not common in the United States. However, in some countries in Asia, outbreaks are large and occur often. Thousands of people may get infected. Some people, particularly young children, may have severe disease requiring hospitalization or even causing death.
Vietnam is having large outbreaks of hand, foot, and mouth disease this year. Travelers to this country can protect themselves by practicing personal hygiene tips. Learn more.
To learn more about outbreaks occurring in countries in Asia, visit the World Health Organization.
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