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Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (cont.)

Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease Symptoms and Signs

Hand, foot, and mouth disease usually occurs in the spring and fall seasons but may occur at any time during the year. The initial symptoms include fever and general malaise (poor appetite, aches and pains, etc.). These symptoms generally last one to two days before a blister-like rash develops on the hands, feet, and in the mouth. The rash initially appears as small red spots but then develops into vesicles (blisters). The blisters may develop on the gums, inner cheeks, and tongue, and patients may complain of mouth pain and a sore throat. These young patients tend to drool and avoid swallowing and may refuse to drink or eat because of the discomfort. Very young infants may even become dehydrated due to the refusal to drink. Rarely, other more serious complications occur, including viral meningitis (aseptic meningitis) and encephalitis. The symptoms associated with these complications include high fever, headache, stiff neck, and back pain. If your child has any of these additional symptoms, you should seek medical attention.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/20/2014

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