Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is a common viral infection most often seen in infants and children under five to seven years old, but it can occur in older children and adults. Captain Darin, can you tell us about this condition?
Definitely, Dr. Connolly. Despite the similarity in names, it's important not to get hand-foot-and-mouth disease confused with foot-and-mouth disease, which occurs only in animals and is caused by a different type of virus.
Children most often get hand-foot-and-mouth disease in the summer and early fall, and the vast majority recover in seven to 10 days with no problems.
Although complications of hand-foot-and-mouth disease are rare, it is possible for the infection to spread to the meninges, which is the membrane covering the brain and spinal cord. This causes viral meningitis. Encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain, is also possible, but this is even more rare.