Hand, foot and mouth disease
Advice from Public Health England – Gov.uk
Hand, foot and mouth disease is a common viral illness in childhood. It is generally a mild illness caused by an enterovirus. In very rare instances it can be more severe.
The child usually develops a fever, reduced appetite and generally feeling unwell. One or two days after these symptoms a rash will develop with blisters on their cheeks, hands and feet. Not all cases have symptoms. The incubation period is 3 to 5 days.
Hand foot and mouth infection is most contagious in the first 7 days but the virus can stay in the body for a few weeks. Spread is by direct contact with the secretions of the infected person (including faeces) and by coughing and sneezing. Younger children are more at risk because they tend to play closely with peers. Promote good hand washing to reduce the risk of transmission even after the child is well because the virus can still be present in the faeces and saliva (spit) for a few weeks.
Children are safe to return to school or nursery as soon as they are feeling better, there is no need to stay off until the blisters have all healed. Keeping your child off for longer periods is unlikely to stop the illness spreading. Exclusion of a well pupil is not required.
Do ensure that any tissues used to for nose and throat are disposed of or washed immediately. Promote hand washing.
Don’t confuse with foot and mouth disease in animals.