Signs and symptoms

  • Mild fever
  • Multiple small ulcers in the mouth that make the child suffers from sore throat, poor feeding, drooling of saliva and night cry
  • Small blister or red spots found on the palms, soles, along the fingers and toes, and occasionally at the elbows, knees and buttock. It may be painful if pressed
  • Occasionally having stomach upset and loose stool






  • HFMD is caused by a group of viruses called enterovirus (entero = intestine). The most commonly implicated enterovirus is COXSACKIE A
  • It usually infect school going children especially those below 10 years old
  • It is not a life threatening infection
  • Rare neurologic (brain) and/or cardiopulmonary (heart and lungs) complications may occur. These are usually associated with another type of enterovirus called HEV71
  • A child may catch it if come into direct contact with nose and throat discharges, saliva, fluid from blisters, or the stools of an infected person


  • Paracetamol or Ibuprofen for fever and pain relief
  • Oral gel to numb the painful ulcers before feeding the child
  • Offer the child with plenty of cold fluids, ice cube or even ice-cream
  • No anti-viral medicine or antibiotic is needed



  • Complete recovery occurs in 5 to 7 days

Dangerous signs that parents must know:

  • Poor feeding and develop dehydration (no urine output for 4 hours, dry lip and mouth, not active)
  • Complication develops, for example the child has seizure (uncontrolled and involuntary movement of body and limbs), drowsy, irritable, inactive, difficulty in breathing


  • Washing your hands often with soap and water
  • Disinfecting dirty surfaces and soiled items
  • Avoiding close contact such as kissing, hugging, or sharing eating utensils or cups with infected persons