Coxsackie Virus (cont.)

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

How do people get infected with Coxsackie virus?

Infection usually is spread by fecal-oral contamination, although occasionally the virus is spread by droplets expelled by infected individuals. Items like utensils, diaper-changing tables, and toys that come in contact with body fluids that contain the virus may also transmit them to other individuals. Although people of any age, including adults, can get infected, the majority of patients identified with Coxsackie infection are children. Pregnant women can pass Coxsackie virus to their newborns, which may cause serious problems for the newborn, so pregnant women need to notify their obstetrician if they exhibit symptoms of the infection, especially if they are near their delivery date.

What are the risk factors for Coxsackie virus infection?

Risk factors for Coxsackie virus infection include physical contact with any patient with individuals with HFMD symptoms. Infectious virus can be found in feces, saliva, fluid in blisters, and nasal secretions. Even patients who have recovered and have no symptoms may still shed infectious virus for weeks. A fetus or newborn is at risk if their mother becomes infected near the delivery date.

How are Coxsackie virus infections diagnosed?

Patients are usually diagnosed by their clinical appearance. Clinically, blisters that are painful usually on the hands, feet, and mouth in a child with fever are considered diagnostic of Coxsackie virus infection. However, in rare instances, viral tests can be done to identify the virus, but the tests are expensive, usually need to be sent to a specialized viral diagnostic laboratory that uses RT-PCR and often take about two weeks to get a result. This testing is almost never done since most infections are self-limited and typically mild, but this situation may change because of an outbreak in Alabama (38 children, 12% hospitalized but no deaths in 2011-2012) and the recent enterovirus 71 epidemic (about 905 of hospitalized children have died) in Cambodia. RT-PCR testing can distinguish between many viral genera, species, and subtypes. Distinguishing Coxsackie virus strains from adenoviruses, other enterovirus types, echo virus, and others may become necessary in the future.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/23/2012

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Coxsackie Virus - Symptoms Question: What symptoms did you experience with your Coxsackie virus infection?
Coxsackie Virus - Experience Question: Please describe your experience with Coxsackie virus.
Coxsackie Virus - Treatment Question: What forms of treatment, including medication, did you use to help relieve the symptoms of Coxsackie virus?

STAY INFORMED

Get the Latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!