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Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jun 5, 2024.

What is hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD)?

Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) is an infection caused by a virus. HFMD is easily spread from person to person through direct contact. Anyone can get HFMD, but it is most common in children younger than 5 years.

Hand Foot Mouth Disease

What are the signs and symptoms of HFMD?

The following may appear 3 to 7 days after infection and normally go away within 7 to 10 days:

How is HFMD diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider can usually diagnose HFMD by examining you. Tell him or her if you have been near anyone who has HFMD. A provider may also swab your throat or nose, or collect a sample of your bowel movement. These samples will be sent to a lab to test for a virus that causes HFMD.

How is HFMD treated?

HFMD usually goes away on its own without treatment. The following can help you feel more comfortable until your symptoms go away:

How do I prevent the spread of HFMD?

You can spread the virus for weeks after your symptoms have gone away. The following can help prevent the spread of HFMD:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.