HFMD is an infectious disease caused by a variety of gastrointestinal viruses. The main viruses of HFMD are Enterovirus 71 (EV71) and Coxsackievirus A16 (Ca16).
The initial symptoms of HFMD are herpes on the extremities and mouth, fever, anorexia and sore throat. In a few severe cases, encephalitis, encephalomyelitis, meningitis and circulatory collapse may become complications. The incubation period for HFMD is usually 3 to 6 days and most mild cases will recover within 7 to 10 days of acute onset.
HFMD is transmitted through close personal contact, saliva, nasal discharge, sputum, skin blisters and faecal infection.Children/infants under 10 years of age and pregnant women are the most affected groups.
It is important to practice personal hygiene, avoid sharing personal belongings and utensils, maintain good eating habits, wash hands regularly and avoid cross-infection with patients.