Although it is common in children under age 5, anyone including adults can get Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD). HFMD is caused by viruses and is contagious. Those include Coxsackie virus, which is usually mild, and the deadlier Enterovirus (EV71) strain can cause severe neurological, respiratory and cardiovascular problems.
However, don’t panic yet! Here’s how to protect yourself and loved ones from the viruses:
1️⃣️ Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and make sure that you cover your whole hands (if soap and clean running water are not available, use hand sanitizers like #PURELL) at key moments such as before, during, and after preparing food, before and after eating food, before and after caring for someone who is sick, after changing diapers and using the toilet etc., and help young children wash their hands, too.
2️⃣ Try not to share food and drinks with others.
3️⃣ Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
4️⃣ Do not share personal items, for example toothbrushes, towels, cups, etc.
5️⃣ Avoid close contacts such as kissing and hugging infected person/child.
6️⃣ Disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as toys, doorknobs, table surfaces, smartphones, etc.