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Hand-foot-mouth disease is a relatively common infection viral infection that usually begins in the throat.
A similar infection is herpangina.
Hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD) is most commonly caused by coxsackievirus A16, a member of the enterovirus family.
The disease is not spread from pets, but it can be spread by person to person. You may catch it if you come into direct contact with nose and throat discharges, saliva, fluid from blisters, or the stools of an infected person. You are most contagious the first week you have the disease.
The time between infection and the development of symptoms is about 3 - 7 days.
The most important risk factor is age. The infection occurs most often in children under age 10, but can be seen in adolescents and occasionally adults. The outbreaks occur most often in the summer and early fall.
Abzug MJ. Nonpolio enteroviruses. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 247.
Losi-Sasaki JM, Moore AY. Viral diseases of the skin. In: Rakel P, Bope ET, eds. Conn’s Current Therapy 2008. 60th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2008:chap 209.
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