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HHS HealthBeat (August 29, 2013)

Hands, feet, mouths, and kids

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Kids can give love, but they also can give a lot of diseases. One they share commonly is hand, foot and mouth disease. Hand, foot and mouth disease primarily affects children under 5, but it can affect older kids and adults.

At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Eileen Schneider says the disease is caused by a virus, so antibiotics won’t cure it. Symptoms, such as mouth pain, can be treated:

“You can help relieve symptoms by using a mouthwash or spray that numbs mouth pain. Over-the-counter medications can help reduce pain and fever, but children should never take aspirin.”

Good hygiene, such as washing hands, can reduce the risk of transmission. Generally, the disease is mild and goes away after seven to 10 days. But if you feel concerned, you can see a doctor.

Learn more at healthfinder.gov.

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

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Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD)

Last revised: August 29, 2013