10 Signs You’ve Got Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

Hand, foot, and mouth disease, or HFMD (not to be confused with foot and mouth disease), is a mild yet highly contagious viral illness caused by what is known as coxsackievirus A16. According to Statpearls, children below 10, especially boys, are more prone to this condition, though adults can still be infected.

Lasting about 7 to 10 days, its most common symptoms are the following…

10. Fever


Fevers are usually the first noticeable symptom of viral infections. For hand, foot, and mouth disease, low-grade fevers are common, with temperatures of 100.4-102.2°F (38-39°C) lingering for a maximum of three days.

From there, more symptoms start to appear…

9. Red Rashes


Days after getting a fever, flat red spots begin to appear on the palms, soles of the feet, and sometimes even the buttocks. At times, these tend to itch and blister, with the fluid inside containing the coxsackievirus infection itself.

But it doesn’t stop there… 

8. Mouth Sores


Completing the trio of afflicted body parts are the many sores that appear inside and outside the mouth. These are often painful, making eating and drinking particularly difficult.

Apart from the sores, this condition starts to affect other parts of the body…

7. Sore Throat

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Like fevers, sore throats are also seen as a preliminary symptom of hand, foot, and mouth disease. Swishing with salt water, which is usually done to relieve usual sore throats, may relieve the pain.

These symptoms can really do your head in…

6. Headaches


People who have HFMD may experience occasional, but not too severe, headaches. However, research is scant with regards to this matter.

The following on the other hand, seems to be common with viral infections…

5. Appetite Loss

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Loss of appetite seems to be a recurring pattern in viral infections. HFMD is no exception.

Our next symptom is also typical of viral infections, and may be worsened by appetite loss…

4. Feeling Unwell (Malaise)


Malaise is the general feeling of discomfort and overall weakness in the body. Like appetite loss, malaise is also a common effect of viral infections.

These symptoms can be really burdensome, especially for the kids, which may result in the following…

3. Fussiness


Children in general have lower tolerance for pain. As such, infants and toddlers who have HFMD are crankier and more irritable due to the discomfort of the blistering rashes, especially the ones inside the mouth.

But it’s not the only thing the sores can cause…

2. Excessive Drooling

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Eating while having HFMD can be quite difficult, as children find it painful to swallow food. As a result of the pain, children tend to drool profusely with HFMD.

Our last symptom rarely happens, but it might be something to watch out for…

1. Abdominal Pain

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Mild abdominal pain is a less common symptom. However, one study links it as a possible indicator of acute pancreatitis, which is coincidentally caused by the same coxsackievirus A16 virus that brings about HDFM.

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