Hand-foot-and-mouth disease may cause some or all of the following signs and symptoms:
- Sore throat
- Feeling of being unwell (malaise)
- Painful, red, blister-like lesions on the tongue, gums and inside of the cheeks
- A red rash, without itching but sometimes with blistering, on the palms, soles and sometimes the buttocks
- Irritability in infants and toddlers
- Loss of appetite
The usual period from initial infection to the onset of signs and symptoms (incubation period) is three to seven days. A fever is often the first sign of hand-foot-and-mouth disease, followed by a sore throat and sometimes a poor appetite and malaise. One or two days after the fever begins, painful sores may develop in the mouth or throat. A rash on the hands and feet and possibly on the buttocks can follow within one or two days.
When to see a doctor
Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is usually a minor illness causing only a few days of fever and relatively mild signs and symptoms. Contact your doctor, however, if mouth sores or a sore throat keep your child from drinking fluids. Contact your doctor also if after a few days, your child's signs and symptoms worsen.
Aug. 26, 2011
- Hand, foot, & mouth disease (HFMD): Fast facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/revb/enterovirus/hfhf.htm. Accessed July 12, 2011.
- Ng JJ, et al. Hand-foot-mouth disease. In: Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2012. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/linkTo?type=bookHome&isbn=978-0-323-05611-3&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05611-3..C2009-0-38601-8--TOP&uniq=266352183-2. Accessed July 12, 2011.
- Modlin JF. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of enterovirus infections. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed July 12, 2011.
- Non-polio enterovirus infections. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/revb/enterovirus/non-polio_entero.htm. Accessed July 13, 2011.
- Belazarian L, et al. Exanthematous viral diseases. In: Wolff K, et al. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2008. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=2997642. Accessed July 13, 2011.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.