Health complications from hand, foot, and mouth disease are not common:
- Viral or “aseptic” meningitis can occur with hand, foot, and mouth disease, but it is rare. It causes fever, headache, stiff neck, or back pain and may require the infected person to be hospitalized for a few days.
- Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or polio-like paralysis can occur, but this is even rarer.
- Fingernail and toenail loss have been reported, occurring mostly in children within a few weeks after having hand, foot, and mouth disease. At this time, we don’t know whether nail loss was a result of the disease in reported cases. However, in the reports reviewed, the nail loss was temporary, and the nail grew back without medical treatment.
Page last reviewed: February 22, 2019