Coxsackieviruses are a common cause of infection in adults and children. The spectrum of disease caused by these viruses ranges from extremely mild to lethal. No vaccine is available, and there is no drug that specifically eliminates the infection. The key to prevention of coxsackievirus infection readies hand washing and covering the mouth when coughing or sneezing.
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The coxsackievirus can harmlessly exist in the digestive tract at any given time and produce no symptoms, however some kids with coxsackie can establish a high fever and obvious small, painful, red blisters that make them exceptionally irritable (and their mothers incredibly stressed!). The coxsackie strain referred to as hand, foot and mouth disease, produces blisters on the fingers, toes, gums, tongue, throat or the within cheeks. Some children have one or two isolated blisters, others will have dozens. Another type of coxsackie frequently causes an infection called herpangina, which leads to blisters that look like red rings in the back of the throat and tonsils. Fever usually lasts two or 3 days, but the blisters can stay for a week or more. If your child has a high fever for more than a few days, a bad headache and/or a stiff neck, call your doctor. Although unusual, she could have viral meningitis, a serious problem of coxsackie that infects the spine.
The infection spreads out easily in between individuals, typically through hand-to-hand contact, sneezes or coughs, or exposure to (eww) feces on common surface areas. It tends to spread most easily during the hottest months of the year. Kids under 5 are most prone; older children and adults will frequently show no or few symptoms when exposed. Coxsackie virus can cause rash all over the body. Due to the fact that there are numerous separate pressures, your child may come down with coxsackievirus more than once.
A pediatrician can figure out whether a child has coxsackie by examining the blisters and evaluating other symptoms, like fever. Swabs may be taken and sent out to a laboratory too.
Since coxsackie is highly contagious, clean your child’s hands with warm, soapy water (or if you’re not close to a sink, an alcohol-based sanitizer) after school, day-care, a check out to the playground, or post-potty. Wash your very own hands completely after changing diapers or going to the bathroom, and before preparing food. If one child in your household has the infection, don’t allow sibs to share food or drinks until more than 24 hours after the fever has actually broken. A couple times a day, wipe down toys and hard surface areas in your home with hot, soapy water or a decontaminating spray.
Treatment for Coxsackie Virus Rash
There’s no medication to treat coxsackie, however blisters recover in a week or 2 on their own. In the mean time, you can help lower a fever and reduce the pain from blisters with acetaminophen or ibuprofen. If your child has neck pain or a severe headache in addition to symptoms, or a fever lasting more than a few days, see a doctor right away to dismiss viral meningitis, which can lead to mental retardation and death, and should be closely kept track of by a physician. Call your doctor if your child has a fever of over 100.4, queasiness or vomiting, abdominal discomfort, problem breathing, or sores inside the mouth.
Cold dairy products like milk, ice cream and yogurt can help soothe blisters in the throat (avoid acidic drinks like orange juice, which can irritate them). You can also dip a cotton bud in a mixture of one teaspoon Benadryl (oral diphenhydramine) and one teaspoon liquid antacid (like regular Maalox, not Maalox Total Relief) and gently swab it over your child’s mouth sores a few times a day, which may reduce pain. (Check with your doctor prior to attempting this option to make sure you aren’t using too much; diphenhydramine can be taken in through the skin, so there’s a risk of overdose).