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R The most common cause of hand-foot-and-mouth


disease is infection due to the coxsackievirus A16. The
coxsackievirus belongs to a group of RNA viruses
called enteroviruses. Other enteroviruses sometimes
cause hand-foot-and-mouth disease.

R Oral ingestion is the main source of coxsackievirus


infection and hand-foot-and-mouth disease. The illness
spreads by person-to-person contact with nose and
throat discharges, saliva, fluid from blisters, or the stool
of someone with the infection. The virus can also
spread through a mist of fluid sprayed into the air when
someone coughs or sneezes.
R |and-foot-and-mouth disease is most
common in children in child care settings
because of frequent diaper changes and potty
training, and because little children often put
their hands in their mouths.

R Although your child is most contagious with


hand-foot-and-mouth disease during the first
week of the illness, the virus can remain in his
or her body for weeks after the signs and
symptoms are gone. That means your child
still can infect others
R Äome people, particularly adults, can pass the virus
without showing any signs or symptoms of the
disease.

R Outbreaks of the disease are more common in summer


and autumn in the United Ätates and other temperate
climates. In tropical climates, outbreaks occur year-
round.

R |and-foot-and-mouth disease isn't related to foot-and-


mouth disease (sometimes called hoof-and-mouth
disease), which is an infectious viral disease found in
farm animals. You can't contract hand-foot-and-mouth
disease from pets or other animals, and you can't
transmit it to them.
‰
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