Coxsackie virus belongs to the family of Picornaviridae (Picornavirus) and enterovirus genus. They have small RNA virus in them and it was first invented at the town called Coxsackie in New York. There are two types of Coxsackie viruses namely type A and B. The first type causes muscle injury with paralysis and rarely death. It begins as the blisters in the throat, mouth and hands and causes inflammation with pain on the affected area. The second type of B virus causes damage to internal organs but they are less severe. This type of virus affects the lungs, abdomen and would last for maximum 12 days to get resolved. It is known to cause pleurodynia that affects the above organs.
The common symptoms of Coxsackie virus are fever, sore throat, fatigue and loss of appetite. It would be only for two or three days. Then it appears as sores and blisters on the mouth, throat and hands. Many of them would get rashes on the feet and hands and the symptoms would last for 10-12 days. This infection is contagious. The main cause for getting infected with this virus is getting into contact with fecal contamination. Many a times, it spreads through the diaper changing places and toys of children on which some fecal particles are left. It also spreads by droplets of saliva expelled by infected persons. Infectious virus is present in feces, saliva and fluids of nasal secretions.
Treatment can be given for the symptoms and not for the disease itself. Taking antiviral medicines could control the symptoms of rashes and blisters. Tylenol is given for reducing fever and other discomforts of this disease. Drink plenty of fluids to keep yourself hydrated. Wash the mouth with lukewarm salt water to prevent sores.
What is Coxsackie Virus ?
Coxsackie virus infection is also known as Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) that occurs largely in children and sometimes in adults. This infection causes symptoms like fever, fatigue, skin rash and blisters on the body. Red pus filled lesions can be seen on the palms (hand) and soles (feet) and often in the mouth. It is caused by virus family of enteroviruses. Your doctor can diagnose the infection by physically examining the blisters in parts of the body but lab test is also available. No vaccine has been developed for Coxsackie virus infection. This infection spreads easily by saliva and exchange of fluids and one should take enough steps to prevent it. Since the virus was first discovered in a small town of Coxsackie in New York it is named as Coxsackie virus infection.
Coxsackie Virus Types :
Two major types of this infection can be recognized. One is Coxsackie virus A and the other is Coxsackie virus B.
- CVA Type :
This type can cause painful sores in the throat and blisters in your hand, foot and mouth. This condition is known as “Herpangia” in medical terms. Coxsackie A is responsible for causing HFMD disease in many parts of the world. Primary target is young children and also in teenagers. In rare cases it may cause inflammation of eyelids.
- CVB Type :
This type can cause high fever, severe abdominal cramps and headache. The symptoms can develop within 2-10 days of getting infected. Both the above types of Coxsackie can cause brain fever, heart infection (myocarditis) and infection on the lining of the heart in severe cases. In olden days there were many deaths due to encephalitis in under-developed countries.
Mode Of Transmission :
Coxsackie virus lives in the digestive tract of human beings causing no problem under normal conditions. But when the infected person gets any disease (weakened immunity or fever or cold) it becomes active spreading the infection through saliva, feces and fluid discharge.
- By Saliva
When the infected child/person spits cough millions of viruses comes out from the mouth and remains in the hands or nearby objects. Another person can easily get infected by touching the hands or objects like toys of infected child.
- By Feces
Coxsackie virus is excreted through fecal particles. Rate of transmission in high in day care centers if the caretaker is not disposing diapers properly and sometimes remains of fecal particles remains in his/her fingers. The outbreak of Coxsackie infection is high during winter and fall.
Coxsackievirus Symptoms :
Children (adults) affected with Coxsackie virus may develop some of the following signs :-
- Sore throat
- Persistent cough
- Breathing difficulty
- Painful sores in the mouth
- Itching on the palms and soles because of blisters
- Red painful pus filled blisters are seen developing in the hand, foot and mouth of children
In rare cases inflammation of the eyes (conjunctivitis) can occur. Children become contagious after the first blister or sores occur in the skin and continue to transmit the infection to others. The above symptoms may be there for 2-10 days and would resolve on its own without any treatment. The infected child is still contagious for two weeks and is not advised to send them to school. In severe cases the signs of Coxsackie virus infection include meningitis and heart muscle infection or inflammation of the brain and even death.
Pictures of Coxsackie Virus Infection :
Images, Pictures, Pics And Photos of Coxsackie Virus Infection
Pregnant Women :
- They are under the risk of transmitting the infection to the growing fetus which can develop serious problems like inflammation of eyes.
- Red painful pus filled blisters are seen developing in the hand, foot and mouth of children.
Who Are At Risk ?
- Anyone can develop Coxsackie virus but children are more prone than adults.
- Children who are not following good hygiene are at high risk of getting infected.
- Children left with day care centers have increased risk.
An expert doctor can easily identify the infection by mere examining of physical body. He would check for painful blisters on the hands, feet and mouth of the child. In rare cases RT- PCR test would be done for confirming the virus.
Tips For Prevention :
- Children should be instructed to wash their hands properly before eating and after using the toilet.
- Parents should not send the infected child to school or day care center to prevent spreading of infection to many others.
- Children should not be sent to school until the infection is completely cured since they can still be contagious.
Coxsackievirus Treatment :
No particular treatment is available for Coxsackie virus infection. However based on the symptoms and its intensity the doctor may recommend Tylenol for reducing the discomfort of fever. Antiviral drugs are prescribed for managing the symptoms. Children should be encouraged to drink plenty of fluids since they may refuse to eat anything because of sore throat and ulcerous growth on oral cavity. Topical creams that contain Benadryl can be given for application on the affected hands and foot.
There is excellent recovery from Coxsackie infection with prompt medical intervention and treatment. But things get uncontrolled if there is severe outbreak of infection wherein many children are infected and hospitalized.