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2. Spreading the Virus

The virus causing hand-food-and-mouth disease is contagious and can spread with person-to-person contact such as coughing or sneezing. Fluid from blisters, saliva, and stool can also spread the virus. An individual who touches a surface someone with the virus touched previously can also contract it. Due to this ease of transmission, the disease is common in daycare settings and other childcare situations, as children often put their fingers in their mouths. Adults can spread the virus even if they do not have symptoms of hand-foot-and-mouth disease, and children are contagious during the first week of their infection. Even after the symptoms pass, the virus can stay in the body and infect others for days or weeks afterward.

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