Is this that hard to detect? If your kid says he's got a sore throat.... wouldn't you see the blisters in his mouth (or on hands or feet)?
Webmd says this:
Hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD) is a contagious disease that occurs in young children and is caused by the Coxsackie virus. Symptoms are usually mild and include a rash of small blisterlike sores, usually occurring on the hands, the feet, and in the mouth. Symptoms last about a week.
Home treatment is often all that is needed. An antiviral medication is sometimes prescribed in severe cases.
You may choose to treat your child's symptoms to soothe discomfort and pain caused by sore throat, fever, or pain from blisters. Appropriate treatment choices include:
Hand-foot-and-mouth disease goes away on its own without any treatment. Symptoms of discomfort or pain vary and are most often caused by the pressure of fluid in the blisters. Uncomfortable symptoms can usually be treated at home. In addition to nonprescription pain relievers and topical or oral medications that your child's doctor may prescribe, these steps may help make your child more comfortable during the course of the illness:
- Have your child drink plenty of cool fluids (try a popsicle for variety).
- Treat fever and pain with acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Do not give aspirin to anyone under age 20 unless directed to do so by your health professional because of the risk of Reye's syndrome.
- Avoid acidic foods (such as apple juice).
To help prevent the disease from spreading to other members in the family:
- Restrict physical contact with the infected person (child or adult).
- Practice good hygiene, such as frequent hand-washing (especially after changing a child's diaper).
- Do not let your child share toys or give kisses while he or she is infected.
- Use gloves to apply any prescribed ointment to your child's blisters.
While your child may continue to attend daycare if he or she feels well enough, he or she will be contagious during the course of the illness, which lasts 7 to 10 days. However, it is possible your child may be contagious for several weeks after the blisters and sores have healed because the virus may remain in the feces. Continue to practice careful hygiene for several weeks or months after the child is better.
You or your doctor may want to let your local health agency know that someone in your family has hand-foot-and-mouth disease. The health agency keeps track of this information to determine whether an outbreak of the disease is occurring in your area.
Centers for Disease Control, Respiratory and Enteric Viruses Branch National Center of Infectious Diseases Web Address: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/entrvirs.htm
This Web site provides factual information on enteroviruses and the diseases they can cause (including hand-foot-and-mouth disease).