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.