Thursday, August 26, 2010

HFMD - Adults can get it too!

I have 2 long stories to tell, but I shall just talk about one first and leave the other story for the next post, because of the time constraint.


If you are also a parent with young kids, I'm sure you will be familiar with the term HFMD - Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease. The number of cases of HFMD has been on the rise at dangerous level for the past few weeks.

Although most of the cases are children, adults can get it too! According to Today newspapers (24 August 2010), of the 18989 cases this year, 7.6% were adults aged 21 years and above. I belong to one of these unfortunate cases. :(

I woke up on National Day (9 August) with a fever and I was already suspecting that I got HFMD. Because my 2 baby twin nieces got it on the previous Friday. Yes, I did hug and kiss them, so I might be spread through their saliva. Besides fever, I got body aches and shivering with cold too.

2 days later, mouth ulcers started to develop in my mouth. Compared to the ulcers we get at times, the ulcers were smaller but there were more. And for my case they appeared mostly at the back of the mouth near the throat. They caused some discomfort when swallowing. By then, I knew I got it.

Another 1 day later, blisters started to appear on my feet and then the hands. The blisters were red, hard, itchy and pain. Those on the feet caused much more pain because they were like needles pricking on your feet for every step you walk.

It took about 1 week to recover, after that the blisters will dry up and skin will start peeling.


I'm writing about HFMD here because I'm sure many of you are parents too and I want to share with you all about the symptons of HFMD. I did not know much about HFMD before I experienced it.

HFMD is caused by a group of about 80 viruses. If you get HFMD from one specific virus, you will develop immunity to that virus and will not be infected by the same virus again. However, if you are exposed to another virus, you can still get it. Which means, you can get HFMD several times.

About 12% of the HFMD cases here are caused by the more dangerous EV71 virus. It is the one that cause complications or deaths.

There is no treatment for HFMD. Doctors will usually give medicines to relieve the symptoms. However, children with problems eating should be sent for treatment immediately.

HFMD starts with fever, ulcers 1-2 days later (use torch to shine into the mouth to check, you won't be able to spot without a torch), blisters on hands and feet another 1-2 days later, some will appear like little red dots, some bigger. Blisters will continue to appear for the next few days.

Parents taking care of children with HFMD must not come into contact with nasal discharge, saliva, faeces and fluid from the blisters. Because adults can get it too!


That's the end of my very long story. Meanwhile, here's my new baking toy. Shall share about it in my next post.


  1. oh gosh i hope are you better now!
    speedy recovery!

  2. Thanks for sharing this important notes. I never knew adults can get HFMD too. Hope you're fully recover by now. Take care.

  3. Hi SSB, there are cases of HFMD recently, my daughters's 2 classmates got it too, one from school, one from enrichment class. So afraid that my daughter will kena too but luckily didn't phew....

    hope you are getting better now, take care ya.

    wow, you have new toy to play with, hope to see your next post using the new toy :).

  4. Thanks for sharing. Very important that others should be aware. We always take things for granted that what children get we can't get!
    Take care and eat well to recover properly.

  5. No wonder you went MIA for a long time ... I'm sorry to hear about that! Please take good care, K? Thank you for sharing the info! It may come in handy for me someday ... when I myself kena HFMD one day ... =S

    Take care! Have plenty of rest ... even when you've recovered. Health is important.

  6. Yes, adults can get HFMD, but I think the symptoms are less mild compared to children? My kids had it when they were in pre-school...they were very miserable as they couldn't eat any solid food, I gave them ice cream and it cheered them up a little ;)

  7. Hi SSB,
    I hope you've recovered. I know adults also can get it. And it's usually when they are during their low immunity time. My children have gotten it twice before. And I believe they are different strands. Each virus is like stronger. I can understand how you felt. It must really be an agony for adults, let alone children. Just need to pay more attention to hygiene and health. Hope you're back to your usual self. Do take care.

  8. Have a speedy recovery SSB! Take care.

  9. Hi SSB,

    Thanks for sharing.

    I hope you are getting better by now! So as your twins nieces.

  10. Hi!
    I had this experience with chicken pox many donkey years ago with ulcers/chicken pox near the throat. Its extremely unbearable.. with each swallom.... :(

    Hope you're well now! :)

  11. are you fully recovered already? must be really "xin ku" for you those few weeks. Thanks for your info about HFMD ... and look forward to seeing your baking toy in action (I have no idea what it is! me noob! haha)

  12. I've had HFMD a few years back, from my kids. My eldest got it from her childcare centre, so I quarantined my son by moving back to stay with my parents. But my son started having blisters in his mouth the next day. The following day, I had blisters on my hand. Thankfully, ours were mild cases and all of us recovered within 3 days.

  13. Thanks everyone! I'm fully recovered already! :)

    The HFMD scare is still in my house. My elder niece was sent back home 2 times from her childcare centre because the teachers found ulcers in her mouth. We are very scared that she will get it and spread to the family. Very paranoid. Haha!

  14. I saw how my little girl suffered when she caught this 2 years ago. Must be a very painful experience for you. I am glad that you are well now. Take care.

  15. I am suffering from HMFD now as well...thankfully none of my three children got it, and I have sent them off to granny's...but it is really strange where I could have gotten HMFD from...

  16. Thanks Edith!

    Hi Eliza, I hope you are recovering by now. We also don't know how my twin nieces got it. They are at home almost all the time. The doctor said that my elder niece brought the virus back from her childcare centre but she herself did not get it. Maybe she got the virus on her hands and touch the babies.

  17. Sorry to learnt that u went through HFMD. Glad it's all over now. :) looking forward to seeing u use your new toy. :)

  18. I love your blog!

    This looks so dlicious!

    Have a nice time!

  19. Hi SSB, I believe you have recovered by now. It's no joke when adults get it! Can be quite serios too. When my nephew got it, quite a pain to see them being sick.

    Look forward to seing your new toy!

  20. How are you doing? Long time no hear from you.

    Happy Mid-Autumn Festival! Hope it's not too late to say this.

  21. Thanks for sharing this. Im currently recovering from HFMD and yes im an adult (36). I caught it from my daughter, i think from touching the infected areas, and draining a huge blister on her foot (don't ever ever do any of these things, or you too will be HFMD). Im waiting for my appetite to return, I've lost a lot of weight (which i needed to do anyway:-)) but ill feel better once my desire to eat returns

    1. Oh dear, so sorry to hear that. I remembered when I had recovered, I got a strange side effect. Crack lines started to appear on my finger and toe nails. Eventually they all peeled off, after a new inner layer of nails were grown. Hope you and your daughter recover soon. Have lots of liquid and good rest. :)