Foot-hand-mouth syndrome in children – symptoms of infection, treatment and prevention of Coxsackie virus

Symptoms, treatment and prevention of Coxsackie virusThe Coxsackie virus, which is extremely widespread throughout the world, was first discovered almost 70 years ago in the United States in the city of the same name. Today the virus is diagnosed not so often, because of its wide distribution, and often the diagnosis sounds like “ARVI”, “allergic dermatitis” or even “flu”. And the fact is that this virus has many faces, and the symptoms can indicate a variety of diseases. In addition, it can be completely asymptomatic – or only with a fever that lasts only 3 days.

What is Coxsackie, and how to protect yourself from him?

The content of the article:

  1. Causes of the Coxsackie virus and ways of infection
  2. Signs and symptoms of hand-foot-mouth disease
  3. Coxsackie virus treatment – how to relieve itching and pain?
  4. How to keep your child from getting the virus?

Causes of the Coxsackie virus and ways of infection – who is at risk?

The term “Coxsackie virus” means a group of 30 enteroviruses, the main breeding site of which is the intestinal tract.

The second name of this disease is the hand-foot-mouth syndrome.

The virus rarely infects adults, most often babies under 5 years old suffer from it

Video: Hand-foot-mouth syndrome – Coxsackie virus

The group of viruses is classified (according to the severity of complications) as follows:

  • Type-A. Possible complications: throat diseases, meningitis.
  • Type-B. Possible complications: serious and dangerous changes in the muscles of the heart, in the brain, in skeletal muscles.

The main route of entry of the virus – oral and airborne droplets through contact with an infected person.

Coxsackie is the most dangerous for children under 2 years old.

The mechanism of infection

The development of the virus is carried out inside the cells of the body, after penetration into which Coxsackie undergoes several stages of development:

  1. Accumulation of virus particles in the larynx, in the small intestine, in the nasal mucosa. It is worth noting that at this stage, the treatment of the virus is the simplest, using simple antiviral drugs.
  2. Penetration into the bloodstream and distribution throughout the body. At this stage, the lion’s share of the virus settles in the stomach and intestines, and the remaining “parts” settle in the lymph, in the muscles, and also in the nerve endings.
  3. The beginning of the inflammatory process, the destruction of cells from the inside.
  4. Active inflammation with a corresponding response of the immune system.

The main routes of infection:

  • Contact. Infection occurs through direct contact with a sick person.
  • Fecal-oral. In this case, the virus, excreted in saliva or feces, gets to a person through water, food, reservoirs and pools, household items, etc. Immediately after swallowing, Coxsackie enters the intestines, where it begins to reproduce.
  • Airborne. As the name implies, the virus gets to a healthy person when a sick person sneezes or coughs – through the nasopharynx, when inhaling.
  • Transplacental. A rare, but taking place, route of infection is from mother to baby.

What else you need to know about Coxsackie:

  1. Infection through close contact not only with the patient, but also with his belongings, is 98%. Except in cases where a person has previously suffered such a disease.
  2. After recovery for another 2 months, virus particles are released with feces and saliva.
  3. The largest percentage of diseases is observed in kindergarten.
  4. The incubation period is about 6 days.
  5. The virus lives and thrives in the cold, even in the most severe – it just falls asleep and then wakes up when it warms up, and survives when treated with alcohol, is not afraid of an acidic stomach environment and a solution of chloride acid, but dies at high temperatures, radiation, exposure to UV, treatment 0 , 3% formalin / liquid.

Signs and symptoms of hand-foot-mouth disease in children, clinical picture of the disease

Most often, Coxsackie is not immediately determined due to the prevalence of clinical manifestations inherent in many other diseases.

The symptoms of the disease resemble those of an acute infection.

The most common forms of the virus are:

  • Summer flu. Signs: 3-day fever.
  • Intestinal infection. Signs: severe and prolonged diarrhea, fever, headache.
  • Herpetic sore throat. Signs: enlarged tonsils, high fever, redness in the throat, rashes.
  • A form of poliomyelitis. Signs: rash, fever, diarrhea, rapid disease progression.
  • Exanthema (hand-foot-mouth). Signs: Similar to the symptoms of chickenpox.
  • Enteroviral conjunctivitis. Signs: eye puffiness, discharge, soreness, “sand” in the eyes, redness of the eyes.

The main symptoms of a hand-foot-mouth virus include:

  1. Weakness and malaise. The child will be inactive, quickly tired, indifferent to games.
  2. Loss of appetite, cramps and rumbling in the abdomen.
  3. The defeat of specific areas on the body – arms, legs and face – with reddish blisters about 0.3 mm in size, accompanied by severe itching. Itching can cause insomnia and dizziness. Such rashes (note .. – exanthema) are more common for the virus of group A. The main areas of distribution of the rash are the feet and palms, the area around the mouth.
  4. Increased salivation.
  5. Fever (short-term fever).
  6. Rashes in the mouth are painful sores.

  Foot-hand-mouth syndrome in children

Symptoms of possible complications of Coxsackie in the process of illness and after recovery:

  • Skin: exanthema, rash.
  • Muscles: pain, myositis.
  • Gastrointestinal tract: diarrhea, blood in the stool.
  • Liver: hepatitis, pain, enlargement of the liver itself.
  • Heart: damage to muscle tissue.
  • Nervous system: convulsions, pains, fainting, paralysis.
  • Testicles (approx. – in boys): orchitis.
  • Eyes: pain, conjunctivitis.

At the first suspicion of Coxsackie, you should immediately call a doctor and begin treatment!

Coxsackie virus treatment – how to relieve itching and pain on the arms, legs, around the child’s mouth?

This virus is most dangerous for complications that can be observed in the absence of treatment:

  1. Hepatitis.
  2. Heart failure.
  3. The development of diabetes.
  4. Liver damage, hepatitis.

The presence of a virus can be determined solely by the results of research, which are not done in every city. Therefore, as a rule, the disease is determined by the doctor, based on the symptoms.

With timely initiation of therapy (and correct) complications can be avoided.

Video: Virus! Should you panic? – Doctor Komarovsky

In most cases, therapy is similar to treatment for ARVI:

  • Drugs to lower the temperature (traditional antipyretic). For example, Nurofen, etc.
  • Antiviral agents, according to the type of virus.
  • Drugs that relieve the state of intoxication with diarrhea. For example, Enterosgel, Smecta.
  • Vitamins and immunostimulating drugs (Viferon, etc.).
  • Means that help eliminate itching. For example, Fenistil.
  • Preparations for eliminating rashes in the throat (approx. – Fukortsin, Orasept, Faringosept, etc.).

In addition, it is imperative that the child receives enough liquid… Drinks should not be sour, hot, too cold.

Naturally prescribed recumbent mode, and the child himself should be in a room isolated from other family members.

It is better to send healthy children to relatives for a while.

The recovery period for everyone goes differently, in accordance with the immunity, the nature of the disease, the type of virus:

  1. The temperature drops after 3 days.
  2. Blisters go away within a week, rash after 2 weeks.

For another 1-2 weeks after recovery, residual symptoms of the disease may be observed, and with feces and saliva, “remnants of the virus” may be released (again) for another 2 months.

Therefore, it is important to be careful and not let other children get infected.


If the sick child is still breastfed, then the breast can be given to him constantly: maternal immunoglobulins in milk can stop the development of the virus in the body of the baby.

Preventive measures – how to protect a child from infection with the Coxsackie virus?

There are no precisely developed measures that would help in the fight against Coxsackie. This virus is very contagious, and is transmitted through the air, through coughing, through dirty hands and objects, etc., which allows you to identify the “weakest spots” and “spread straws” in time.

  • Wash your hands thoroughly after the street and teach your child to wash them properly.
  • Brings up the general hygiene skills of the child.
  • We do not eat unwashed vegetables and fruits.
  • During epidemics (spring, autumn) we try not to visit unnecessarily events and places with a serious crowd of people (clinics, holidays, etc.).
  • Before going outside, we lubricate the nasal passages (for ourselves and for the child) with oxolinic ointment.
  • We temper, eat vitamins, eat right, observe the daily routine – strengthen the body!
  • We often ventilate the room.
  • Regularly wash toys and other items that the child plays with. It is recommended to scald them with boiling water (the virus dies instantly when boiled and within 30 minutes at a temperature of 60 degrees).
  • We use only purified water!
  • If possible, scald food products with boiling water.
  • We wash linen and clothes more often, if possible, we boil it, be sure to iron it.

It is impossible not to mention the popular resorts, in which for many years, experts have observed the active spread of Coxsackie.

For example, Sochi, resort cities of Turkey, Cyprus, Thailand, etc. Tour operators are usually silent about this fact, so whoever is warned, as they say, is armed. The easiest way to get infected is in the resorts – in the hotel pool and in the hotels themselves, if the cleaning is carried out poorly.

Do not forget to clarify before the trip about the epidemic situation at a particular resort, and choose places of rest where the risk of “catching an infection” is minimal.

All information on the site is for informational purposes only and is not a guide to action. An accurate diagnosis can only be made by a doctor. We kindly ask you not to self-medicate, but to make an appointment with a specialist!
Health to you and your loved ones!

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