Which clinical history findings are characteristic of enteroviral hand-foot-and-mouth disease?

Updated: Mar 01, 2018
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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This is mainly a disease of children; most patients are younger than 10 years. Epidemics of HFMD occur approximately every 3 years.

Coxsackievirus A16 is the most common etiologic agent, although enterovirus 71 and numerous other coxsackievirus serotypes may also cause the disease. [2]

Following an incubation period of 3-6 days, patients experience prodromal symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, malaise, and anorexia. The prodrome lasts from 12-36 hours; afterward, vesicular eruptions of the hands, feet, and oral cavity develop. This may cause decreased oral intake in young children. The lesions self-resolve within 5-7 days.

Infection with enterovirus 71 may be accompanied by severe neurologic disease including encephalitis, meningitis, and poliolike paralysis. [47]

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