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Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease (coxsackie virus)

This is intended as a general guide. Consult a health care provider for diagnosis and for recommendations or advice.

How it Spreads

Contact with secretions from the nose and mouth (i.e. sneezing) and blisters of an infected person.

Germs are also found in stool (poop) of an infected person and can spread to another person’s mouth usually through unclean hands.

Incubation period *3–5 days.

* Incubation period = Time between contact with disease and start of symptom.

How to Recognize

Fever, headache, sore throat, loss of appetite, lack of energy, vomiting and/or diarrhea, small painful ulcers in the mouth, skin rash with small blisters on hands, feet, and buttocks lasting 7–10 days.

When it is Contagious

Most contagious during the first week of illness.

Virus can be present in stool for up to 4 weeks after start of illness; always wash hands thoroughly to prevent the spread of germs.

When to Report/Exclude

Exclude from child care and school until fever is absent for 24 hours (with no over the counter medication), blisters have dried and child feels well enough to participate in regular activities.


Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Canadian Pediatric Society

MOHLTC Infectious Diseases Protocol 2022