Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is a viral infection most often seen in infants and children younger than 10 years. It is most commonly caused by coxsackievirus A16. Coxsackieviruses are one type of enterovirus.

Despite the similarity in names, hand-foot-and-mouth disease is a completely different infection than foot-and-mouth disease, which occurs only in animals and is caused by another type of virus.

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is generally mild. The signs and symptoms of hand-foot-and-mouth disease include a fever and small but painful sores on the throat, gums, and tongue and inside the cheeks. It also may cause a rash, often with blisters, on the hands, soles of the feet, and diaper area, as well as headaches and a poor appetite.

Call your pediatrician if your child complains of neck pain, chest pain, difficulty breathing, listlessness, or lethargy. Also consult your pediatrician if your child's mouth sores are causing difficulty swallowing, which may lead to...

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