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Coxsackie virus: symptoms and treatment in children (photo), a virus in adults

What it is?

Coxsackie virus is a group of 30 active enteroviruses that multiply in the baby’s digestive tract. For the first time, the disease was diagnosed in a small US town of Coxsackie, and due to the high level of infectiousness, it quickly spread throughout the globe.

The second name of the disease is hand-foot-mouth cider. Often this pathology occurs in children under 5 years of age, and it is extremely rare in adults. After suffering a disease caused by the Coxsackie virus, a person develops a strong immunity to infection and re-infection is excluded.

A large group of data on viral particles is divided into two classes: A-type and B-type, which contain up to 20 viruses each. The difference is in what complications appear after the transmission of infections initiated by one of the two types of Coxsackie virus.

  • After the A-type, meningitis and throat diseases can develop.
  • B-type is more dangerous and threatens with serious changes in the brain (mental and degenerative disorders), heart and skeletal muscles.

The cause of Coxsackie's disease is oral (infection in the mouth) and airborne transmission of the virus upon contact with an infected child. The most dangerous age for the disease is the period from birth to 2 years. At this time, baby hygiene is especially important.

It is necessary to exclude any contact with sick children and not allow the child to take in his mouth dirty objects that were on the street. If this happens, wash the child and disinfect his hands - so the chance of infection to go down.


Coxsackie virus - incubation period and infectiousness

Coxsackie virus

manifestations of the Coxsackie virus

Coxsackie virus is contagious by 98% - if it comes to close contact with the patient or his things. An exception can only be the transfer of such an infection several years ago. After the clinical manifestations subside, dangerous particles are excreted for some time with saliva and feces, therefore, it is necessary to be extremely careful for the next 2 months after the sick child recovers.

Infection can occur both outdoors and indoors. According to statistics, most often the child picks up the infection in kindergarten. However, you should not panic in vain, since quarantine is announced at the first diagnosed cases in the institution.

The incubation period of the Coxsackie virus ranges from 4 to 6 days - dangerous in the autumn and summer, when the air is enriched with moisture. Increased humidity is a necessary condition for the viability of this microorganism.

You need to know a few facts about the virus in order to better represent its nature:

  • At normal temperature, the infectious agent on objects does not die within a week;
  • The virus survives when it is treated with 70% alcohol;
  • Coxsacks are not afraid of the acidic environment of the stomach and the local solution of chloride acid;
  • It is possible to destroy the infectious agent with 0.3% formalin liquid, as well as exposure to ultraviolet radiation, very high temperatures and irradiation;
  • The virus multiplies in the human intestine, but the manifestations of infection in the form of nausea and vomiting practically do not occur (can be observed in patients with initially diseased intestines);
  • Maternal milk antibodies neutralize the virus in the child’s body, therefore infection of children who are breastfed is rare, and if it is observed, it occurs in a mild form;
  • The first signs of Coxsackie infection can be confused with SARS, influenza, chickenpox and allergies, so you need to know in advance the symptoms of Coxsackie infection.

Symptoms of Coxsackie Virus in children, photo

Symptoms of Coxsackie Virus in Children

It is often difficult to determine that the clinical manifestations observed in humans are caused by the Coxsackie virus. Symptoms in a child are similar to less dangerous acute infections. It all starts with the usual weakness and malaise. The infected child looks indifferent, refuses food, quickly gets tired. Rumbling in the abdomen and cramping may occur.

The name “hands-feet-mouth” was given to the disease in vain, since the lesions of these areas are the first alarm bell. On the hands, palms, between the fingers, on the phalanges themselves, the feet, on the mucous membrane and around the mouth, reddish blisters appear. Their size does not exceed 0.3 cm, but they are very intensely itchy. The appearance of such bright spots is possible throughout the body: on the abdomen, back, and child’s buttocks.

The itch is so unpleasant that it provokes dizziness and lack of sleep in children.

Treatment of Coxsackie Virus in Children

It is impossible to do without a symptomatic drug that relieves itching. Due to irritation of the mucous membranes in the mouth, saliva is constantly released. For this reason, the child’s head should be turned on its side to prevent aspiration (ingestion) of saliva into the respiratory tract.

It is almost impossible to eat food in a state of defeat by mucous sores and blisters. But for a speedy recovery, water should flow into the body, better if it is cool.

To feed a child, you must first lubricate the mouth with an anesthetic gel: Holisal, Holycest, Kamistad.

  • Nausea, vomiting, and constant rumbling in the intestinal area is possible.
  • If a baby is breastfed, offer him a breast all the time - as mentioned above, there are immunoglobulins in breast milk that suppress the development of the Coxsackie virus.

How does the infection proceed?

Symptoms of Coxsackie virus photo

Symptoms of Coxsackie virus photo

There are four forms of infection in which the Coxsackie virus occurs in children. It is necessary to know the symptoms of each of them in order to start treatment on time.

1. Flu-like syndrome (flu-like)

This is the easiest of all possible forms of infection. For the duration of the disease does not exceed 3 days, during which the temperature of the child’s body is maintained at 38 - 39.5 °.

Symptoms include only general weakness, muscle pain and aches in the bones. On the fourth day, the signs of infection disappear, and the number of complications after the flu-like syndrome is minimal.

2. Intestinal localization

It can be caused by both A-type and B-type. There is a high probability of becoming infected with intestinal form in children under 2 years old, while cases in the children's team may be isolated. Body temperature can rise to 39 °, which is what causes lethargy and body aches.

Such a manifestation of Coxsackie infection can be mistaken for typical intestinal poisoning, since all symptoms of intoxication are on the face. In the first days, the child has vomiting and frequent urging to the toilet. The stool becomes more frequent up to 6-7 times a day, which increases the risk of dehydration.

The younger the patient, the greater the likelihood of additional symptoms like ARVI, such as sore throat, runny nose, dry cough. The schoolboy's body is able to cope with the infection in 2-3 days, in the infant it is necessary to fight the disease for about a week.

The intestinal localization of Coxsackie infection can affect the functioning of the enterocytes (intestinal cells) that produce the enzyme lactase. Therefore, the next month after recovery, the baby may suffer from intolerance to dairy products, including breast milk, so the mothers either refuse or add medical lactase to the baby’s diet.

3. Boston disease

Symptoms are very similar to rubella - the baby’s entire body is covered with red blisters. As a rule, children under 5 are susceptible to the disease. Boston disease occurs in 3-5 days and is characterized by a high temperature of up to 40 °.

Complications after this form are almost impossible.

4. Bronholm disease (pleurodynia)

Temperature 39.5 - 40 ° holds for 3 days. Along with fever, the child has severe pain in the muscles. Spasms in the chest, back and around the navel may be especially severe.

The attack lasts from 1 to 20 minutes and is repeated on average once an hour, during movements increases. It is associated with the defeat of the peritoneum and pleura, which, when rubbed, provoke pain syndrome.

The positive thing is that it is very difficult to get infected with the form of pleurodynia, because its pathogen does not like flat terrain and temperate climate.

General symptoms of complications of the Coxsackie virus

In addition to the typical clinical picture, characteristic of different variants of the course of Coxsackie infection, the following health problems can be observed in young patients during and after the disease. They are associated with the defeat of a system of a child’s body:

  • Muscles: myositis. Muscle pain increases in proportion to the increase in body temperature.
  • Eyes: conjunctivitis, fear of bright light, lacrimation, hemorrhage in the eyeball.
  • Heart: myocarditis, endocarditis, pericarditis. All these diseases mean localized damage to the muscle tissue of the heart.
  • Intestines: diarrhea, change in stool color, mucous and blood substances in feces.
  • Nervous system: convulsions, headache, paralysis, loss of consciousness.
  • Liver: increase in organ, acute hepatitis, pain and heaviness in the right hypochondrium.
  • Skin: vesicular rash on limbs and rash (continuous redness) on the body and back.
  • Testicles in boys: orchitis, if you do not arrest that aspermia may develop in a teenager (she is the cause of male infertility).

In the event of the first suspicion of a Coxsackie virus infection, immediately call a pediatrician to avoid the aforementioned complications.

Coxsackirus in adults - features

Coxsackie virus in adults

Coxsackie virus in adults is a rare medical case. The older a person is, the less likely he is to get such an infection. Ways of receipt of the virus are the same for patients of any age.

Parents can only get sick if there is close contact with an infected or recently infected child with a low level of immune response.

Even if it happened, recovery will come no later than in three days. For adults, this infection is not dangerous.

If a pregnant woman in the third trimester of a fetus is ill with Coxsackie virus, the infection can be transmitted to the child. However, this is not very dangerous for the life and health of the baby, as treatment even in newborns is successfully carried out.

But still, if a pregnant woman had contact with a child infected with a virus, urgent disinfection of her hands and face is necessary for preventive purposes.

Treatment of Coxsackie Virus in Children

Therapy is primarily aimed at alleviating the symptoms - treatment of the Coxsackie Virus in children requires the following recommendations and medications:

  • Means to reduce itching on the skin: for children - Finistil gel or Vitaon baby; for adults - antihistamine Suprastin.
  • Means to reduce pain in the oral cavity - antacids Relzer, Maalox, Gestid.
  • Interferon-based immunomodulating agents - Roferon, Viferon, Neofir, or Cycloferon.
  • To reduce body temperature - Nurofen, Tsefekon, Paracetamol. Analgin taken categorically is not recommended.
  • Means for the normalization of metabolic processes: nootropic drugs, vitamins of groups B1 and B2.
  • Adults are advised to drink chamomile tea, to eliminate itching in the mouth, children under 3 years old can only be given cool water.

The pediatrician will narrow the list of prescriptions for a particular case and determine the allowable time for return to the team. For the time of illness of a family member, it is recommended to provide him with personalized cutlery and disinfect personal hygiene products.

If one of the relatives has weakened immunity, vitamins or immunomodulatory drugs will be prescribed.


Adult patients can return to the usual rhythm of life after 3 days, in severe cases - no later than 10 days after the onset of the first symptoms. In a child, after 3 days, only the temperature passes, and the remaining symptoms may remain for 1-2 weeks.

Complete healing of red blisters occurs after 6-7 days, and a rash after 10-12. The appearance of complications depends on the quality of treatment and the timeliness of treatment to the doctor.

With the qualitative treatment of Coxsackie virus in a child, the risks of heart problems, liver problems and testicles in boys are minimal.


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