​Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease is commonly caused by the virus coxsackievirus which causes sores in the mouth of your child and rashes on his or her hands and feet. At times, sores may even appear on the buttocks of your child. These sores can be painful, but if not painful they cause a lot of discomfort. However, they do not last more than a week.

Often, this disease is spread by coughing and sneezing (introducing virus in the air and making it air-borne). Your child may contract it through particles in the air or through infected stool. The virus can be easily transferred when changing diapers or when your child touches his or her stool and then touches other objects around the place.

Your child will begin showing symptoms of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease within five to six days after he or she contracts the virus.

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease can be identified by the following symptoms.

  • Your child may have a sore throat
  • Your child may have fever ranging from 101 degrees to 103 degrees Celsius

  • Your child may have rashes on his hands, feet and buttocks

  • Your child may form blisters on his tongue

  • Your child may also have blisters or sores on his or her gums and inside the cheeks

  • The blisters may also appear on palms and soles of his or her feet

  • These blisters will crust over after breaking up in few days

  • Your toddler may be extremely restless and agitated

  • Your child may refuse to eat and will not feel hunger pangs

  • Your child is drooling a lot because of painful swallowing

  • Your child has muscle cramps

The symptoms usually last for from 3 to 6 days.​

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease is a common and mild illness and usually subsides in five to six days. You should however, consult the team of medical experts working with the Children’s Hospital Service Line at The Aga Khan University Hospital if your child refuses to eat and take fluids because of the painful blisters.

If the symptoms do not go away in five to six days or worsen, contact the doctor with the Children’s Hospital Service Line immediately.
Your time with your doctor maybe limited, so make sure to prepare for your visit beforehand. Here are some tips to help get you started.
Diagnosing Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease is very easy. Your doctor will simply look at the symptoms and conduct a physical medical exam to come to the conclusion.

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease does not have a specific treatment and usually resolves on its own within 10 days. Your doctor will tell you measures to undertake to help counter the symptoms of the disease, till it passes away.

Self-care measures you may take at home can include:

  • Giving a lot of cold fluids to your child during the illness

  • Avoid giving spicy, tangy and citrus juices and food items as it will agitate the sores

  • Medicines, as prescribed by the doctor at the Children’s Hospital Service Line to alleviate the pain

Preventative measures should be taken to avoid this disease. Inculcate the habit of washing hands in your child. Do not let your children share toys amongst each other when one if infected.​

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers various support services to help with managing or recovering from the disease or condition. These include but are not limited to nutrition, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, specialized clinics and some patient support groups. Your doctor or nurse will advise you accordingly.
The Aga Khan University Hospital offers financial assistance to those who are in need and fulfil the eligibility criteria. For further information, you can contact the Patient Welfare Department. You can find the contact number of the Patient Welfare Department in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.
The financial counselling staff is available during office hours, at the main PBSD (Patient Business Services Department), to answer your financial queries on treatments’ costs and authorize admissions on partial deposit as per hospital policies allow. The financial counsellor in the emergency room is open 24/7. You can find the contact number of the Patient Business Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.
Your doctor and or nurse will give you specific instructions about the prescribed medication. Please ensure that you take or use the prescribed medicine as advised. It can be dangerous to your health if you self-prescribe. Please inform the doctor or nurse beforehand if you have experienced any adverse reactions to any medications in the past. If you experience any symptoms of drug poisoning, overdose or severe reaction please contact the Pharmacy Service at The Aga Khan University Hospital immediately. You can find the contact number of the Pharmacy Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.



The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider.