Foot-and-mouth disease is a rare infectious disease that mainly affects people with low immunity. Learn more about this pathology.
Although uncommon, the foot and mouth disease it can be quite a painful disease. In general, it is characterized by lesions on the skin, in the mouth and between the fingers; High fever; and muscle aches intense. As there is no specific treatment, all that remains is to alleviate its symptoms, resorting mainly to analgesics.
As it affects some specific age groups, such as children, foot-and-mouth disease can be a reason for concern for parents and caregivers, since during the period of infection, the child can become quite complaining and even present a great deal of difficulty eating properly. Get to know a little more about this disease.
Foot and mouth disease: symptoms, treatment and prevention
Foot-and-mouth disease is a rare infectious disease caused by the RNA virus of the family Picornaviridaegenre aphthovirus🇧🇷 This pathology is more frequent in children, the elderly or people with a weakened immune system🇧🇷
The origin of this infection may be the ingestion of unpasteurized milk from contaminated animals, as well as the consumption of their meat, for example. The virus can also be transmitted through contact with the animal itself. However, it should be noted that this infection is not transmitted from person to person.
Contagion can still occur through the respiratory tract or, for example, through a wound that somehow comes into contact with the virus.
Most frequent symptoms
Symptoms of foot-and-mouth disease can appear up to 5 days after the viral infection. Its most recurrent manifestations are:
- mouth ulcers;
- wounds on the skin and between the fingers;
- inflammation in the mouth;
- muscle aches and headaches;
- Very thirst;
- high fever.
After 3 to 5 days of the appearance of symptoms, it is expected that the recovery period will begin, although the disease may take about 15 days to disappear completely. However, there are more severe conditions, in which the infection can spread to other regions of the body, such as the throat and/or lungs.
Diagnosis and treatment
To diagnose foot-and-mouth disease, it is necessary to carry out a physical examination, in which a doctor assesses the existing lesions in the mouth. Subsequently, it is important to have a blood test to detect whether or not there is an infection.
There is no specific treatment or vaccine for foot-and-mouth disease. Therefore, to treat this disease, the doctor may prescribe drugs, such as analgesics – to relieve pain and lower fever – and/or corticosteroids – especially if the inflammation is spreading to other parts of the body.
At the same time, it is important to clean existing wounds on the skin and canker sores in the mouth with soap and water and apply an ointment of your own, in order to speed up the entire healing process. In addition, it is essential to drink plenty of fluids and rest.
The main way to prevent foot-and-mouth disease is to avoid contact with infected animals, as well as the consumption of unpasteurized milk and contaminated meat. Therefore, whenever outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease are detected in a certain group of animals, their slaughter is advised.
Therefore, it is important to adopt some preventive measures, such as:
- vaccinate the animals;
- always consume boiled or pasteurized milk;
- protect all the wounds that we have exposed;
- eat meat and dairy products, always previously processed;
- use personal protective equipment if we come into contact with contaminated animals.
Despite being rare, it is natural that, from time to time, we hear about one or another case of foot-and-mouth disease. More common in rural areas, where contact with animals is closer and more frequent, foot-and-mouth disease is, even so, a rare disease and, fortunately, with a good prognosis in the vast majority of cases.
Follow the advice left in order to prevent this infection and take care of your health and that of yours!