Hand, foot and mouth disease or shortly known as HFMD is a disease that is caused by the Coxsackievirus and Enteroviruses. HFMD is highly contagious and can affect both children and adults. However, children under the age of 5 are more exposed to this virus.\u00a0 Photo credit: westynbaby.com You can get infected by this virus through direct contact with unwashed hands or surfaced areas that are contaminated with faeces. You are also exposed to this virus if you are in contact with an infected person\u2019s saliva, blisters, tools or respiratory secretions.\u00a0 How do I know if it is HFMD? Photo credit: Adobe Stock \tYou have a fever, sore throat and headache.\u00a0 \tRed spots start to develop on your palms and soles. These red spots are not itchy.\u00a0 \tYou will also have blisters or sores in the mouth and rashes on the hands and feet.\u00a0 \tThe infected person will also have a poor appetite and irritability.\u00a0 What are the treatments for HFMD patients?\u00a0 Photo credit: Adobe Stock HFMD would go away without treatment in 7 to 10 days after our bodies immunity has developed. There is no specific medication that can kill the virus. Doctors will also cure it according to your child's symptoms. For example:\u00a0 \tPrescription or over-the-counter topical ointments to soothe blisters and rashes. \tPain medication to relieve headaches. \tMedicated syrups or lozenge that can ease painful sore throats. The Ways to Prevent HFMD From Spreading Photo credit: Adobe Stock At the moment, there are no specific vaccines or medication to prevent HFMD but it is important to lower the risk of getting it by doing these: \tPractice good hygiene. \tTeach your children to wash their hands regularly. \tDisinfect any common areas that are always touched by the family.\u00a0 \tCover nose and mouth when sneezing.\u00a0 \tDon\u2019t share cups or utensils with infected people. \tDon\u2019t send your infected child to school or daycare until their symptoms are gone. Check with your doctor if you think they might still be contagious. Usually, it is highly contagious during the first week of the disease.\u00a0 Possible Complications of HFMD Although the disease usually will go away after seven days, it can cause some complications such as:\u00a0 \tDEHYDRATION - this happens when your child refuses to drink water because of the mouth sores. \tSWELLING - the swelling of the membranes around the brain, spinal cord and heart muscles.\u00a0 \tENCEPHALITIS - a severe and potentially life-threatening disease involves brain inflammation caused by a virus. This complication is rare. Photo credit: twitter.com\/encephalitis HFMD is NOT the same as Foot-and-Mouth Disease One thing to take note is that HFMD and foot-and-mouth disease is different! Foot-and-mouth or also called hoof-and-mouth disease affects animals such as cattle, sheep, and swine. Despite that this virus usually have mild cases and it is nowhere near the COVID-19, it does not mean that we, as parents, should take it lightly. Remember that prevention is better than cure. Don't regret it before it is too late. Make sure to always wash your hands and sanitise common places that everyone touches. Wear a mask if you are feeling sick.