Hand-foot-mouth disease

Alternative Names

Coxsackievirus infection

Definition of Hand-foot-mouth disease

Hand-foot-mouth disease is a relatively common infection viral infection that usually begins in the throat.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD) is most commonly caused by coxsackievirus A16, a member of the enterovirus family.

Signs and tests

A history of recent illness and a physical examination, demonstrating the characteristic vesicles on the hands and feet, are usually sufficient to diagnose the disease.


There is no specific treatment for the infection other than relief of symptoms.

Expectations (prognosis)

Generally, complete recovery occurs in 5 to 7 days.


Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 8/8/2009

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease
Hand, foot, and mouth disease on the soles
Hand, foot, and mouth disease on the hand
Hand, foot, and mouth disease on the foot
Hand, foot, and mouth disease - mouth
Hand, foot, and mouth disease on the foot

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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