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What is Hand-Foot-and-Mouth disease?

~ As Appeared in the April 2018 Issue of North Shore News ~

A: Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is a common viral infection that usually infects babies and children younger than five years old although it can occur in older children and adults as well.

The hallmark of this infection is sores that develop in the mouth, hands, feet or buttocks. They can look like small red spots, bumps or blisters. Occasionally there will be symptoms before the sores develop including low-grade fever, fussiness, or belly pain.

Hand-Foot-and-Mouth disease can be spread through close personal contact, including droplets from sneezing or coughing, contact with the sores themselves, feces or contaminated objects and surfaces such as a doorknob. Generally the individual is most contagious during the first week of illness.

The sores in the mouth can be painful leading young children to get dehydrated so watch carefully to ensure they are drinking fluid frequently during the illness. You should immediately get medical care if your child is having difficulty swallowing or the symptoms get worse. Fortunately, hand-foot-and mouth disease will typically go away on its own within a few days. Treatment focuses on the symptoms and includes fluids, acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Our Primary Care Clinic is fortunate to have two wonderfully warm and caring providers who specialize in caring for children of all ages – physician’s assistant, Lindsay Maughan, who concentrates on pediatric care, as well as Dr. Ember Christensen, who is board certified in family medicine.

Come see us at the Kahuku Medical Center’s Primary Care Clinic. We are here to help you get well and stay well! Ask us your medical question anonymously which we are more than happy to answer at: