Vaccination Against EV71 Reduced Childhood Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

Enterovirus 71 vaccination led to a significant decline in Childhood Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease cases in China

young boy covering face with his hands

A new study offers the first real-world evidence that vaccination against Enterovirus 71 (EV71) is effective in preventing childhood hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD).

The most prevalent enterovirus serotypes causing HFMD in China is EV71, which is implicated in 70 percent of severe cases and 92 percent of related fatalities.

This study published on December 27, 2019, was able to identify a significant decline in the trend of EV71 HFMD within 4 months into the post-vaccine period.

This study analyzed the time series of HFMD cases attributable to EV71. Between 2011-18, there were 279,352 HFMD cases reported in the study region. 

Those vaccinated with an inactivated EV71 vaccine reported 52 percent fewer severe HFMD cases than predicted.

This is good news since there is no approved vaccine in the USA to protect against the viruses that cause hand, foot, and mouth disease.

HFMD is common in children under 5 years old, but anyone can get it, says the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The illness is usually not serious, but it is very contagious. It spreads quickly at schools and daycare centers in the USA.

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Most children have mild symptoms for 7 to 10 days. Parents can take steps to relieve symptoms and prevent dehydration while you or your child are sick.

There is no specific medical treatment for hand, foot, and mouth disease.

However, the CDC says a child should see a healthcare provider if:

  • Your child is not drinking enough to stay hydrated
  • Symptoms do not improve after 10 days
  • Your child has a weakened immune system or if the symptoms are severe
  • Your child is very young, especially younger than 6 months.

As of December 6, 2019, the CDC offers this clarification about HFMD.

Hand, foot, and mouth disease is often confused with foot-and-mouth disease (also called hoof-and-mouth disease), which affects cows, sheep, and pigs. Humans do not get this animal disease.

Hand, Foot, and Mouth vaccine news published by Precision Vaccinations.