Hand, foot and mouth disease in adults is caused by transmission from a person infected with the Coxsackievirus, according to Mayo Clinic. The virus is transmitted by personal contact such as exposure to nasal secretions, saliva, fluid from blisters, throat discharge or stool of an infected individual.
People can also contract hand, foot and mouth disease when exposed to an infected person's cough or sneeze that is airborne, explains Mayo Clinic. A connection with objects that have been handled by a person with hand, foot and mouth disease can also transfer the virus.
People can get infected by touching the nose, mouth or eyes of an infected person or through a transfer of saliva when kissing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In rare cases, people can contract the disease by swallowing water in swimming pools that is contaminated with stool from a person infected with hand, foot and mouth disease.
The condition is more common in children, but adults are still susceptible to the virus, explains the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most patients are contagious during the first week after contracting the virus although symptoms may not yet have appeared. People can help to prevent the transmission of the condition by practicing good hygiene, eliminating germs from their environments, and washing their hands on a regular basis.