Ask the Experts
Childhood Virus Danger
My son was just diagnosed with hand-foot-and-mouth disease. Could it be dangerous if I catch it?
Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is a common childhood illness technically known as Coxsackie A virus. Symptoms typically include fever, sore throat, and small blisters in the mouth and/or on the feet and hands. Since the virus is very contagious, most adults have been exposed to it and have a considerable degree of immunity as a result.
That means the chances you will not catch this illness are good. But even if you were to become infected, there are no specific risks to the fetus associated with this condition (although any fever in the first trimester does pose an increased risk of miscarriage). Regardless, be sure to tell your doctor that you have been exposed to the disease; he'll likely want to perform blood tests to determine if you are immune.
In the unlikely event that you have no immunity to the virus, try to limit exposure to your son for as long as he is showing symptoms. You also must pay careful attention to hand washing, and proper disposal of diapers is particularly important.