A student in your child’s class has recently been diagnosed with hand foot and mouth disease (HFMD). HFMD is a viral illness that affects mainly infants and children.
SYMPTOMS OF HAND FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE
The first symptoms of HFMD are usually fever, sore throat, loss of appetite and feeling sick. Several days after fever begins, small red spots develop in the mouth that may turn into blisters or ulcers. A skin rash can also develop on the hands, feet, and buttocks, and sometimes on the arms and legs. The rash may be raised or flat red spots and blisters. Not everyone with HFMD has all these symptoms.
HOW SOON DO SYMPTOMS OF HAND FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE APPEAR?
Symptoms of HFMD usually appear 3-7 days after initial exposure and infection.
HOW IS HFMD SPREAD?
HFMD is commonly spread by contact with an infected person’s stool, nasal discharge, saliva or blister fluid. A person is most contagious during the first week of the illness.
HOW IS HFMD TREATED?
There is no specific treatment. Almost all children with HFMD recover on their own. People with HFMD should rest and drink liquids to prevent dehydration. You may contact your child’s health provider for other suggestion on how to treat the disease.
HOW CAN HFMD BE PREVENTED?
Everyone in the household of a person with HFMD should thoroughly wash their hands with soap and water after using the toilet, changing diapers, and having contact with nasal, saliva and blister discharge.
WHEN CAN MY CHILD RETURN TO SCHOOL?
Children can return to school and daycare when their fever goes away and their mouth sores have healed.
Adapted from California Department of Public Health, Division of Communicable Disease Control, “Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease”
Parent Notification letter 10/12