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What are the causes of hand foot and mouth?

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The most popular cause of hand-foot-and-mouth disease is infection with the coxsackievirus A16. The coxsackievirus belongs to a group of viruses named nonpolio enteroviruses. Other enteroviruses in some cases is the cause  of hand-foot-and-mouth disease.

Hand foot and mouth causesOral ingestion is the main source of coxsackievirus infection and hand-foot-and-mouth disease. The illness is spread by person-to-person contact with an infected person’s:

•    Nasal secretions or throat discharge
•    Saliva
•    Fluid from blisters
•    Stool
•    Respiratory droplets sprayed into the air after a cough or sneeze

We can understand that the viruses that cause HFMD can be spread in much the same way as the common cold. They are contained in the millions of tiny droplets that come out of the nose and mouth when someone with the disease coughs or sneezes. These droplets hang suspended in the air for a while, then land on surfaces. Anyone who touches these surfaces can spread the virus by touching something else.

People usually become infected by picking up the virus on their hands from contaminated objects and then placing their hands near their mouth or nose. It is also possible to breathe in the virus if it is suspended in the air. However, the viruses are unable to spread in this way once a person’s symptoms have passed.

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease primarily affects kids under age 10. Children in child care centers are especially susceptible to outbreaks of hand-foot-and-mouth disease because the infection will be spread from person-to-person troughout contacting, and young children are the most susceptible.

Children usually develop immunity to hand-foot-and-mouth disease as they get older by building antibodies after exposure to the virus that causes the disease. However, it’s possible for adolescents and adults to get the disease.

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