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Hand-foot-and-mouth disease or HFMD is a mild infection caused by the coxsackievirus that most often affects young children under the age of 10. Although the contagious disease has unpleasant symptoms that cause discomfort, it is not life-threatening.

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1. The Coxsackievirus

Coxsackievirus A16 is the most common cause of hand-foot-and-mouth disease. It belongs to the family of non-polio enteroviruses. Other organisms in this family, including enterovirus 71, can also cause the infection but is more common in children who live in East and Southeast Asia. The virus is more prevalent in the summer and fall seasons, though it can spread year-round in tropical climates.

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