You most definitely can get HFMD if you are not careful or have a compromised immune system. My 10 month old son contracted it at his daycare and dealt with it over a week of misery. I felt so bad for my little man, but could do nothing for it beyond treating the symptoms.
HFMD is a virus, not a bacterial infection
So, what does that mean? It means that there is nothing you can take to make it go away. No, antibiotics do not work on viruses. They must simply run their course and your immune system will do the rest.
How do you get it?
Through direct contact with the infected person’s sores, saliva (coughing/sneezing) or diaper changes. Guess how I got mine. Changing diapers. Yes, I am quite anal about hand washing after changing diapers, so i know it wasn’t poor hygiene. For me, it was my immune system. I am training real hard for an upcoming Tough Mudder race and, abviously stressed my body too much. Over-training led to weakened immune system which led to break form training. Hidden lesson in there somewhere.
It is rare for an adult to get it, but not impossible. Do what you can to avoid it if you have to deal with it. You just might have to tolerate what you see in the picture for a week or more.
Other problems that come with having this include being semi-quarantined from your family through no contact and having to don gloves every time you want to touch something.
Did I mention the pain and discomfort?
OK, the pain is not that bad, except that it doesn’t go away for quite a while. Feels like I put my hands in an ant hill for the first two days. As the sores get worse you have to be careful about opening things. Something as simple as opening a jar can tear one open and expose the fluid. If my 6 year old got this my house become the drama capital of the world. So I swallow my pride and ask my wife to open jars for me. You know she takes advantage of those moments.
Not sure there is a definite way to avoid getting this, just keep in mind that it is very rare, but possible.
Enough typing, my hands are killing me.