If your child has already gotten HFMD before and you think you’re safe from the virus now, you are wrong. Sadly, you can get HFMD more than once. 

HFMD: Are adults resistant?​​

While exposure to nasal discharge, saliva, faeces or bodily fluids of an infected person puts anyone at a higher risk of contracting HFMD, adults are usually immune to the virus. There is currently no vaccine to protect against HFMD.

The most frequent complication of HFMD is dehydration as mouth ulcers may sometimes be severe enough to interfere with the intake of fluids. Dehydration may also occur if there is persistent vomiting.

Pregnant women and HFMD

If you are expecting, you should avoid close contact with those infected with the HFMD virus.

Pregnant women are quite prone to getting enterovirus infections, including HFMD. The risk of catching the virus while pregnant is that they may transmit the virus to the baby if they are infected close to the delivery date, or if symptoms start to appear at the time of delivery. However, maternal enterovirus infection or HFMD has not caused adverse outcomes of pregnancy so far.

Most newborns infected with enterovirus contract mild illnesses. Rarely do they develop serious complications of many organs, including liver and heart, and die from the infection. The risk of this severe illness is higher for newborns infected.

Can HFMD be prevented?

Preventive measures (Adapted from World Health Organisation website) include:

  • frequent handwashing with soap and water especially after touching any blister or sores;


  • cleaning contaminated surfaces and soiled items first with soap and water, and then disinfect;


  • avoiding close contact (kissing, hugging, sharing utensils, etc.) with children infected with HFMD


  • quarantine sick children from school until they are well;


  • monitoring the sick child's condition closely and seeking prompt medical attention if persistent high fever,


  • decrease in alertness or deterioration in general condition occurs;


  • covering mouth and nose when sneezing and coughing;


  • disposing properly of used tissues and nappies into waste bins that close properly;



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