When to get medical advice

You don't usually need medical attention if you think you or your child has hand, foot and mouth disease. The infection will usually pass in 7 to 10 days, and there isn't much your doctor can do.

Antibiotics won't helpas hand, foot and mouthdisease is caused by a virus.

If you're unsure whether you or your child has hand, foot and mouth disease, you cancall NHS 111 or your GP for advice.

You should also get medicaladvice if:

  • your child is unable or unwilling to drink any fluids
  • your child has signs of dehydration ,such asunresponsiveness, passing small amounts of urine or no urine at all, or cold hands and feet
  • your child develops fits (seizures), confusion, weakness or a loss of consciousness
  • your child is underthree months old and has a temperature of 38C (101F) or above, or is between three and six months old and has a temperature of 39C (102F) or above
  • the skin becomes very painful, red, swollen and hot, or there's a discharge of pus
  • the symptoms are getting worse or haven't improved after 7 to 10 days

Get advice from your GP if you're pregnant and youbecome infected within a few weeks of your due date. Infection in pregnancy is usually nothing to worry about, but there's a small chance it could make your baby ill if you're infectedshortly before you give birth.

The virus is found in:

  • the droplets in the coughs and sneezes of an infected person you can become infected if you get these on your hands and then touch your mouth, or if you breathe in the droplets
  • an infected person's poo if an infected person doesn't wash their hands properly after going to the toilet, they can contaminate food or surfaces
  • an infected person's saliva or fluid from their blisters you can become infected if this gets in your mouth

The infection is caused by anumber of different viruses, so it's possible to get it more than once. Mostpeople develop immunity to these viruses as they get older.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018