Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

Hand, foot, and mouth disease is a common viral illness that usually affects infants and children younger than 5 years of age. It can sometimes occur in adults however.  Symptoms of hand, foot, and mouth disease include sore throat, fever, mouth sores, and a skin rash on the hands and feet.  Outbreaks can occur any time during the year, but are most common in the summer and fall.

Hand, foot, and mouth disease is caused by viruses that belong to the Enterovirus genus. This group of viruses includes polioviruses, coxsackieviruses, echoviruses, and enteroviruses. Coxsackievirus A16 is the most common cause of hand, foot, and mouth disease in the United States, but other coxsackieviruses have been associated with the illness.  Enterovirus 71 has also been associated with hand, foot, and mouth disease and outbreaks of this disease.

Hand, foot, and mouth disease is often confused with foot-and-mouth disease, a disease of cattle, sheep, and swine. The two diseases are actually caused by different viruses and are not related at all. Humans can not be infected with the animal disease, and likewise,  animals can not contract the human disease.

Hand, foot, and mouth disease is spread from person to person by direct contact with the infectious viruses that cause this disease. These viruses are found in the nose and throat secretions such as saliva, sputum, or nasal mucus. Other bodily fluids such as blisters and infected stools can also transmit the viruses.  The viruses may be spread when infected persons touch objects and surfaces that are then touched by others.

Infected people are most contagious during the first week of the illness. The viruses that cause hand, foot, and mouth disease can remain in the body for weeks after the symptoms have disappeared. This means that infected people can still pass the viruses and subsequent infection to others even though they may appear well and have no symptoms at the time.  Some people who are infected and shedding the virus, including most adults, may have no symptoms at all.

Ways to Lower the Risk of Infection:
•    Use viral fighting oils such as LeDeliverance, LeSpiceC or LeSimplicity.  These oils can be diffused or used to disinfect.  The herbal tincture RC-L is also great at beating back viruses.
•    Wash hands often with soap and water, especially after changing diapers and using the toilet.
•    Disinfect dirty surfaces and soiled items, including dishes, toys, and sheets.  First wash the items with soap and water; then disinfect with anti-viral oils.
•    Avoid close contact such as kissing, hugging, or sharing eating utensils or cups with people with hand, foot, and mouth disease.

Recommendations for the Symptoms of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

Some of the best oils to use to help reduce fever, especially in children, include LeThermaCare, LeLifeForce and lavender.  The combination tinctures CC and FV may also be beneficial.

Mouth Sores:
If a person has mouth sores, it may be painful to swallow.  Drinking liquids is important to stay hydrated, especially if there is a fever present. The oil blends LeDeliverance and LeRefreshMint may be of benefit to reduce the pain of these sores.  Be sure to dilute the oil well prior to swishing in the mouth, especially for small children.

Skin Rash:
Skin rashes, especially in small children, usually respond well to LeBabyMe and lavender.  Miracle Salve or BHM Plus Salve may be used as a carrier oil.