Skip to Content

Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

Hand, foot, and mouth disease is a virus which may cause a fever, blisters, and/or sores on the hands, feet, buttocks, genitals, and/or in the mouth. It is spread from coming into contacted with an infected person’s saliva, stool, or fluid from the blisters. Symptoms may appear 3-6 days after getting infected and will go away after 7-10 days even without treatment.

Self-Care

  • To minimize pain or lower fever, take acetaminophen or ibuprofen
  • Do not pick or press on any blisters
  • Keep blisters dry
  • To relieve sores in mouth or throat, suck on ice chips or popsicles
  • Drink lots of cool water and fluids to stay hydrated
  • Wear socks to protect feet

When to Call the Student Health Center (434) 924-5362

  • A fever of 100.4 F or higher for greater than 3 days
  • Trouble managing pain with over the counter medications and other self-care measures
  • Concern that a blister has become infected. Symptoms may include swelling, redness, warmth around the site, and/or smelly yellow, green, or bloody discharge
  • Trouble eating or drinking

Prevention

  • Do NOT share drinking glasses, smoking materials, eating utensils, or drink from a common source such as a punch bowl.
  • Practice meticulous hand hygiene by frequently washing hands for at least 20 seconds and using hand sanitizer often.
  • Cough and sneeze into a sleeve or tissue.

For more information visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Return to Student Health home