The Coxsackie virus (also referred to as Coxsackievirus) is a common source of sore throat and flu-like symptoms, especially in children. The most common disease caused by the virus is Hand, Foot and Mouth disease. Other Coxsackie virus diseases are Haemorrhagic Conjunctivitis, Herpangina and Pleurodynia, which typically flare up in the spring and fall in cool climates. In most cases the virus causes no symptoms, or minor symptoms disappear in a week or so without treatment. Rarely Coxsackie viruses cause more serious infections such Viral Meningitis, Encephalitis and Myocarditis. Identifying the symptoms of Coxsackie virus can help to rule out other conditions and illnesses.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
Take your child's temperature. The virus can cause high fever, often with no other symptoms.
Ask your child where he feels pain or discomfort. Look for general symptoms of the Coxsackie virus. These may include headache, muscle aches, sore throat, and abdominal discomfort or nausea.
Look for crankiness and sore throat symptoms, such as painful swallowing in infants.
Examine the throat and mouth. Hand, Foot and Mouth disease produces blisters on the tongue, throat, palate, gums and tonsils, as well as inside the cheeks. The Herpangina infection causes red-ringed blisters and ulcers on the palate, roof of the mouth, and tonsils.
Examine the fingers, palms of the hands, soles of the feet, buttocks, arms and legs for red, painful blisters. These are symptoms of Hand, Foot and Mouth disease.
Check your child's eyes. Hemorrhagic Conjunctivitis causes eye pain, followed by red, watery and swollen eyes. Eyes are sensitive to light and vision may be blurry.
Call the doctor to confirm the diagnosis. Since there is no treatment for the Coxsackie virus, an examination may not be required.
Tips and warnings
- Call your pediatrician if you are concerned about your child's symptoms. Since there is no treatment for Coxsackie viruses, the doctor may not want to examine the child, but he may help you to make a definite diagnosis.
- Call the pediatrician immediately if your child under six months of age develops a fever higher than 100.4° Fahrenheit (38° Celsius); or if your older child has a fever higher than 102° Fahrenheit (38.8° Celsius). Also call the doctor if the child has poor appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, convulsions, chest pain, neck stiffness, or other severe or worrisome symptoms.