Hand-foot-and-mouth disease also affects adults
Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is spreading.
As the name hand-foot-and-mouth disease suggests, a blistering rash appears in the hands,
feet, and mouth.
It has an enduring reputation as a “childhood illness”, but did you know that adults can get it
When adults suffer from hand-foot-and-mouth disease, they need to be careful since their
symptoms are likely to be more severe than for children.
The number of hand-foot-and-mouth disease patients is the highest ever
The National Institute of Infectious Diseases recently announced that there were 12.64 patients
per medical institution for hand-foot-and-mouth disease (number reported by approximately
3,000 pediatric fixed-point medical institutions nationwide) reported in the week from July 8 to
This is the highest number since statistics began being kept in 1981.
Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is an infectious disease that is prevalent during the summer, as
one of the “three major summer colds”.
Usually, the peak season is June through August.
The cause of hand-foot-and-mouth disease
Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is a viral infection.
The causative viruses are Coxsackievirus A6, A16 and Enterovirus 71.
These viruses are transmitted by the following means:
・ Splash infection
…… Viruses contained in the spatter from coughing and sneezing enter the mouth and cause
・ Contact infection
…… Touching the area of blisters and viruses excreted in the stool with a bare hand, etc.
・ Fecal infection
…… Virus excreted in the stool enters the mouth and becomes infected
* Virus will be discharged from the stool for a relatively long time. even after recovery.
In other words, because it is often transmitted through the hands and mouth, hand washing and
gargling are important to prevent hand-foot-and mouth disease.
If an adult has hand-foot-and-mouth disease
Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is an infection that is common in infants, so that half of patients
are estimated to be under 2 years old.
Adults often had immunity from infection in the past.
However, there are several viruses that cause hand-foot-and-mouth disease, as described
As a result, people who had it during childhood can’t be complacent, since if one contracts a
virus that has never before infected them, the illness can occur again, even in adults.
There are also reports that adult hand-foot-and-mouth disease is more likely to have severe
For example, there are comments such as “the blisters on my feet hurt and I can’t walk, I can’t
wear shoes” or “I feel tired all over, as if I had the flu”
No medicine to cure hand-foot-and-mouth disease
So what should you do if you have hand-foot-and-mouth disease?
First of all, there is no treatment (antiviral drug) effective for hand-foot-and-mouth disease.
Generally, symptomatic treatment is implemented to relieve symptoms.
For example, if the rash in your mouth is so bad that you can’t eat food or drink water, use
sprays to replenish the moisture. If you have a rash on your hands, feet, or mouth, use an
anti-inflammatory drug, and so forth.
You may be alarmed when you hear that there is no medicine to cure hand-foot-and-mouth
However, there are many mild cases, and in most situations it will heal within a few days.
So if you have no severe symptoms, you can see how it goes at home.
However, in rare cases, it may cause serious complications. If there are symptoms such as
severe pain, high fever, fever not decreasing, vomiting, headache, unfocused gaze,
exhaustion… In such a case, see your doctor immediately.