What is it?
Both hand, foot and mouth disease and herpangina are infections caused by the Coxsackie virus.
- In Herpangina small red spots that become ulcers appear at the back of the mouth.
- In hand, foot and mouth disease, the rash can appear as small red, blisters on the hands, feet, mouth or diaper area.
- Both illnesses can be very painful and may cause your child to refuse food and water.
- The spots and ulcers in both illnesses will go away on their own within 10 days.
- Mostly affects young children, however, it can happen at any age.
- Most common in the summer and fall.
Signs and symptoms?
- a skin rash red spotted small blisters on top, that appears on the hands (palms) and feet (soles), buttocks and sometimes other places on the body.
- sore throat
- loss of appetite
- lack of energy
- vomiting and/or diarrhea
- small, painful ulcers in the mouth
How does it spread?
- There is no vaccine against Coxsackie virus.
- Most contagious during the first week of illness.
- The incubation period for the virus is three to six days before child is sick.
- Spreads through contact with an infected person’s saliva or stool.
- Germs can get on a person’s hands or other objects and then spread into someone’s mouth, causing infection.
- The virus can be found in a person’s stool for up to 4 weeks after the start of the illness.
- Hand, foot and mouth disease is not spread from animals.
How to decrease the spread?
- Handwashing is the best way to prevent the spread of infection. Key times to wash include:
- after wiping the child’s nose
- after changing a diaper
- after using the toilet
- before preparing food
- The virus can also survive on surfaces and objects, such as counters and toys, long enough to spread to another person- clean these surfaces on a regular basis.
Only when the child is not well enough to participate or according to your policy.
Coxsackie virus is not reportable to the Medical Officer of Health.