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

Updated: Mar 17, 2021
  • 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. It is a common and potentially but infrequently fatal in children under 5 years of age. [53] Seasonal trends and climatic factors may be evident and have been delineated in Guangzhou (Canton) China.

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. [49]

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