Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD)
Hand, foot, and mouth disease is common in children under five years old, but anyone can get it.
The illness is usually not serious, but it is very contagious. It spreads quickly at schools and day care centers.
Symptoms can include:
- Mouth sores
- Skin rash of flat red spots that may blister
- Sore throat
- Loss of appetite
Most people do not need to see a doctor for hand, foot, and mouth disease.
Treat the illness at home by relieving symptoms and making sure the sick person drinks enough fluids to stay hydrated.
Take steps to keep from getting sick:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Clean and disinfect dirty surfaces and soiled items.
- Avoid close contact with sick people, like hugging or kissing.
Hand, foot, and mouth disease is often confused with foot-and-mouth disease (also called hoof-and-mouth disease), which affects cows, sheep, and pigs.
Humans do not get the animal disease, and animals do not get the human disease.
Visit the US Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Library to learn about Foot-and-Mouth Diseasepdf iconexternal icon.