Coxsackie Virus - Symptoms

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What are coxsackie virus infection signs and symptoms?

The most frequent signs and symptoms of coxsackie viral infections are initially fever, a poor appetite, and respiratory illness, including sore throat, cough, and malaise (feeling tired). This incubation period lasts about one to two days. Sore areas in the mouth develop in about a day or two after the initial fever and develop into small blisters that often ulcerate. Many infected people (usually children 10 years of age and younger) go on to develop a rash that itches on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. Other areas such as the buttocks and genitals may be involved. Some patients develop conjunctivitis. These symptoms usually last about seven to 10 days, and the person usually recovers completely. The individuals are most contagious for about a week after symptoms begin, but because the virus can be shed by the infected individual sometimes for weeks after the symptoms have gone away, the person may be mildly contagious for several weeks.

Picture of characteristic mouth sores of hand foot and mouth disease
Picture of characteristic mouth sores of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD)
Picture of characteristic rash and blisters of hand foot and mouth disease
Picture of characteristic rash and blisters of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD)

Infrequently, the infection may result in temporary fingernail or toenail loss (termed onychomadesis) and chest or abdominal muscle pain. Rarely, the disease may progress to cause viral meningitis (headache, stiff neck), myocarditis (heart muscle infection), pericarditis (inflammation/fluid collection of the tissue surrounding the heart), or encephalitis (brain inflammation).

Infection with EV-71 results in a higher incidence of neurologic involvement with symptoms such as a polio-like syndrome, meningitis, encephalitis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, and/or ataxia.

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Comment from: nikki, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 28

I came down with a very bad sore throat and high fever while traveling to Italy on my honeymoon. A couple of days after the fever broke, I came down with a red bumpy rash on my elbows and knees. A couple of days after that, I developed small painful blisters on my hands, feet, mouth. My hands are still swelled up (on day 6 today after blisters appeared). I feel extremely tired, feel like my hands are stiff (almost paralyzed) and feet and hands tingly and numb. The emergency room (ER) said they'd never seen an adult case of Coxsackie virus infection. ER put me on Valtrex and pain medications. My primary care doctor has never seen an adult case of it either. This is miserable.

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Comment from: erich, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: February 23

With Coxsackie virus infection I had fever for 24 hours. Then onset of blisters on hands, front and back and some blisters on face, and in my case, none on feet. The blisters itch and seem to spread easily.

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