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What is the incubation period for hand,foot and mouth disease?

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Posted on Thu, 12 May 2016
Question: I have a question about Hand Foot & Mouth Disease. My friend came over on Friday (3 days ago) and was playing with my 15 month old. At one point he stuck his finger in her mouth and then touched his own mouth. Today i found out that her son (who was not around my son) has HFMD. He already has sores in his mouth so that makes me think he couldve been contagious on Friday. Is it possible that my son was exposed because he was playing around this boys mother? HFMD has always scared me because of the risks of meningitis, encephalitis, paralysis, and pulmonary edema.
If my son was exposed, what is the incubation period? If he does get HFMD, what are the warning signs of any significant complications? Im very anxious about this because he's only 15 months old and has only been sick a couple of times.
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Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah (35 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Yes, he was exposed!

Detailed Answer:
Hi and thank you so much for this query.

I am so sorry to hear about this possible exposure that your son had. If the child had active sores in the moth, then he was clearly contagious and that is something to be concerned about. It usually takes 3-6days after exposure before symptoms do set in. These complications are possible and very rare. A majority of those with this disease never develop these complications and am sure that if your child were to contract this disease, he will most likely not have any of these grave complications. The firs warning signs to look for is fever. If beyond 6days nothing happens, then it is unlikely that anything would happen again.

I hope this helps. I wish your son well. Feel free to ask for more information and clarifications if need be. Above all, thanks for using our services.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Chobufo Ditah (2 hours later)
Thank you for your response.
I believe that when my son was playing with her, her son hadn't yet developed the sores. He may have just started running a fever that day. Would it still be possible for her to carry the disease if her son had just developed the first symptom of a fever that day? She doesnt have HFMD but i know sometimes you can carry diseases without being symptomatic, and i wasn't sure if HFMD was one of those diseases .
doctor
Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah (4 hours later)
Brief Answer:
No lesions, then unlikely to have contaminated your son!

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

If there were no lesions, then it is highly unlikely that your son could have been contaminated. This actually takes the worry off your mind and allows you to settle.

I wish you well.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Chobufo Ditah

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2009

Answered : 6318 Questions

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What is the incubation period for hand,foot and mouth disease?

Brief Answer: Yes, he was exposed! Detailed Answer: Hi and thank you so much for this query. I am so sorry to hear about this possible exposure that your son had. If the child had active sores in the moth, then he was clearly contagious and that is something to be concerned about. It usually takes 3-6days after exposure before symptoms do set in. These complications are possible and very rare. A majority of those with this disease never develop these complications and am sure that if your child were to contract this disease, he will most likely not have any of these grave complications. The firs warning signs to look for is fever. If beyond 6days nothing happens, then it is unlikely that anything would happen again. I hope this helps. I wish your son well. Feel free to ask for more information and clarifications if need be. Above all, thanks for using our services.