Hand, foot and mouth disease in pregnancy - query bank

Question: Pregnant woman contracted hand foot mouth disease, at 9 weeks. What advice in terms of risk to the fetus?

This clinical query answer was produced by RCOG Library staff following the clinical query protocol as described here.


Please note: the search for this response was carried out over 1 year ago. Eligible users may request an update of the evidence by submitting a new Clinical Query here.

The following guidelines for pregnant women with hand, foot and mouth disease were identified:

  • Prodigy. Hand foot and mouth disease, 2010.
    How should I manage a pregnant women with, or who has been in contact with, HFMD?
    "if the woman has been in contact with HFMD, or presents with characteristic features of HFMD, reassure her that there are no known adverse consequences for the fetus."
  • RCOG Study Group. Infection and pregnancy, 2001.
    "Infection [with enterovirsues] during pregnancy is not associated with any particular fetal consequence, although rarely can result in abortion (as can any febrile illness)."
    "Pregnant women presenting with the characteristic features [of hand, foot and mouth disease] ... can be reassured that there are no adverse consequences for the fetus."

(Evidence level IV)


  • Prodigy. Hand foot and mouth disease. Clarity Informatics Ltd, 2010.
  • RCOG Study Group. Infection and pregnancy. Chapter 3. Investigation of rash illness, and exposure to rash illness, in pregnancy. London: RCOG Press, 2001

Search date: February 2012

Classification of evidence levels

Ia Evidence obtained from meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.

Ib Evidence obtained from at least one randomised controlled trial.

IIa Evidence obtained from at least one well-designed controlled study without randomisation.

IIb Evidence obtained from at least one other type of well-designed quasi-experimental study.

III Evidence obtained from well-designed non-experimental descriptive studies, such as comparative studies, correlation studies and case studies.

IV Evidence obtained from expert committee reports or opinions and/or clinical experience of respected authorities.


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Date published: 22/02/2012

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