Author(s): Sarma N
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Abstract Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD), first reported in New Zealand in 1957 is caused by Coxsackievirus A16 (CVA16) and human enterovirus 71 (HEV71) and occasionally by Coxsackievirus A4-A7, A9, A10, B1-B3, and B5. This is characterized by erythematous papulo vesicular eruptions over hand, feet, perioral area, knees, buttocks and also intraorally mostly in the children. HFMD has been known for its self limiting course. Only small scale outbreaks have been reported from United States, Europe, Australia, Japan and Brazil for the first few decades. However, since 1997 the disease has conspicuously changed its behavior as noted in different Southeast Asian countries. There was sharp rise in incidence, severity, complications and even fatal outcomes that were almost unseen before that period. Following the near complete eradication of poliovirus, HEV71, the non-polio enterovirus, may become the greatest threat to cause significant neurological complications. This adds to the fact that effective therapy or vaccine is still a far reaching goal. There are reports of disease activity in different corners of India since 2004. Although of milder degree, continuous progress to affect larger parts of the country may indicate vulnerability of India from possible future fatal outbreaks. Low level of awareness among the health care providers may prove critical.
This article was published in Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol
and referenced in Journal of Bioengineering & Biomedical Science