What is Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease?

  • Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) is caused by viruses that belong to the Enterovirus family. A person infected with one of these viruses is contagious, which means that they can pass the virus to other people.
  • The virus can spread to others through an infected person’s
    • Nose and throat secretions, such as saliva, drool, or nasal mucus
    • Fluid from blisters or scabs
    • Feces (poop)
  • People with hand, foot, and mouth disease are usually most contagious during the first week that they are sick. People can sometimes spread the virus to others for days or weeks after symptoms go away or if they have no symptoms at all.

Is this a reportable illness?

  • This is not a reportable illness to CDPH but consult with your school nurse to confirm this diagnosis with parents or the medical provider.
    • Please note: that clusters of 10 or more epidemiologically linked suspect or confirmed cases within a 10-day period should be reported to CDPH.

What do schools need to do next?

  • Exclude person if:
    • Febrile illness or other symptoms meeting illness exclusion criteria.
    • They cannot maintain hygiene (e.g. excessive drooling) or avoid contact with others.
  • Standard Best Practices
    • Good handwashing and hygiene practices.
    • Proper disposal of soiled tissues.
    • Avoid sharing linens, hair supplies, or clothing items
    • Proper disinfection of surfaces and toys
    • Avoid scratching skin and lesions; avoid direct contact with skin lesions
    • Keep skin lesions covered where possible.
    • Recommend nails be kept short and trimmed when itchy lesions are present