Syndrome hand-foot-mouth is an infectious viral disease. Although anyone can be affected, it particularly affects young children. It is characterized by small vesicles (blisters) that are found mainly on the feet, hands and often inside the mouth. Although quite painful and embarrassing, this condition is not serious and there is no need to worry if your child seems to be reached.


This disease is usually caused by a virus belonging to the family of “enteroviruses”. Other viruses can sometimes be the cause of the disease.

Who is affected?

They are teenagers and young children (6 months to 4 years) most often catch the hand-foot-mouth. Rarely, adults will also be affected, especially pregnant women seem more sensitive. The “epidemics” occur most often in early summer or late fall. The disease is usually caught in places where there are many children (day care, schools, parks, etc.).



Syndrome hand-foot-mouth is highly contagious and is spread by direct contact with secretions (saliva, runny nose) or the stool of someone who is suffering. It is also possible to contract the disease through indirect contact by touching objects contaminated by the patient (door handle, toilet seat, etc). The incubation period of the virus varies between 3 and 6 days. The person will be contagious throughout the duration of the disease, or 7 to 10 days. However, the virus can be “active” in their faeces for 8-12 weeks after infection.

The main symptoms

– Small blisters on the hands, fingers, soles, buttocks.
– Appearance of blisters in the mouth. These are painful and can prevent the child from drinking and / or eating.
– Sore throat.
– Runny nose.
– Cough.
– Slight fever.
– Headaches.
– Loss of appetite.


A simple routine will help your doctor diagnose the disease.

Possible risk of complications

Complications are extremely rare, but may sometimes involve some people who already suffer from a lack of antibodies. In addition, you should contact your doctor if symptoms persist for more than ten days and are accompanied by:

– Dehydration.
– Pain in the limbs and neck.
– Migraines.
– Convulsions.


Such as disease and viral and non-bacterial, there is no drug to treat it. Antibiotics are not effective. However, the doctor may prescribe medication to relieve symptoms such as acetaminophen against fever or creams to reduce the discomfort caused by the blisters.


The best way to prevent infection is to pay close attention to hygiene:
– Frequent hand washing after contact with an infected person.
– Washing hands after using the toilet or changing diapers of a baby with the disease.
– Contact minimum.
– Regularly clean and disinfect potentially contaminated surfaces (toys, desks, changing tables).
– Avoid direct contact with an infected person.

Did you know

– It is important not to burst the blisters because they are “nests” virus.
– It is recommended sometimes the isolation of affected children .
– We do not catch the disease once as is the case for other childhood diseases. It can happen, however, that similar symptoms occur more than once, but they will be caused by a different virus.