Herpangina

  • Medical Author:
    David Perlstein, MD, MBA, FAAP

    Dr. Perlstein received his Medical Degree from the University of Cincinnati and then completed his internship and residency in pediatrics at The New York Hospital, Cornell medical Center in New York City. After serving an additional year as Chief Pediatric Resident, he worked as a private practitioner and then was appointed Director of Ambulatory Pediatrics at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

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How long does herpangina last? What is the prognosis for herpangina?

The entire duration of the illness is usually three to six days. The prognosis is usually excellent. Very rarely, younger patients may refuse to drink or eat and will require intravenous fluids for hydration. It is important to manage a young child's pain to prevent this from occurring. In addition, enteroviral infections can also cause viral or aseptic meningitis, but even these patients usually recover fully.

What is the difference between herpangina and hand, foot, and mouth disease?

Both herpangina and hand, foot, and mouth (HFM) disease are caused by enteroviruses. Both cause oral blisters and ulcers. The locations of the blisters differ, with HFM lesions occurring at the front of the mouth and herpangina lesions occurring at the back of the mouth. Approximately 75% of children with HFM also develop skin lesions on the palms and soles (as the name implies), but children with herpangina rarely develop any typical rashes.

Is it possible to prevent herpangina?

Prevention of herpangina is dependent upon good hygiene and avoidance with individuals infected with coxsackievirus. This is easier said than done, since as mentioned earlier, 50% of infected individuals remain asymptomatic. There is no vaccine.

Where can people find more information about herpangina?

"Non-Polio Enterovirus," CDC
http://www.cdc.gov/non-polio-enterovirus/index.html

"Viral Exanthems," Dermatology Online Journal
http://dermatology.cdlib.org/93/reviews/viral/scott.html

REFERENCES:

Dyer, J.A. "Childhood Viral Exanthems." Pediatric Annals. 36.1 Jan. 2007: 21-29.

Lee, T.C. "Diseases Caused by Enterovirus 71 Infection." Ped Infect Dis J. 28.10 Oct. 2009: 904-910.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/21/2015
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