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: Karisa27, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: December 13

I am 24 years old. It is 2 weeks before Christmas and I wake up with blisters all over my hands. It was the most painful thing I've ever experienced especially because I have chronic eczema on top of the sores! I couldn't move my hands. I went to 5 different doctors In 2 days. Finally they tell me it is Coxsackie. I had no fever and just a few red sores in my mouth that lasted 3 days.

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Comment from: ann, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 22

I was unlucky enough to have caught this Coxsackie virus in February 2014. Two months later I think it is still in my system, currently my finger/toe nails are separating from the nail bed. Mine started like a normal cold then went to fever, then the rash; oh boy, on hands and feet and hurts like heck! Like there were a thousand needles stuck in my fingertips and feet. I couldn"t walk or touch for a few days and the itching, oh my! And when you think you are getting better, when the spots/blisters are going away, the healing... the skin starts to peal, all my callouses on my hands and feet just lifted off, a great way to have those removed! My hands are brand new smooth raw skin, but ouch, don"t use a wheel barrow without gloves. Raw skin without callouses, ouch! Now next I have the nail issue.

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