November 29, 2015
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Coxsackie Virus

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Coxsackie virus facts

  • Coxsackie viruses are RNA viruses that may cause hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD).
  • HFMD usually occurs in children but can occur in adults.
  • The majority of HFMD infections are self-limited, so no treatment is required.
  • HFMD, caused by coxsackie viruses, usually causes fever, malaise, rash, and small blisters that ulcerate. The most frequent locations for the blisters/ulcers are on the palms of the hand, soles of the feet, and in the mouth.
  • HFMD usually resolves in about 10 days with no scarring, but the person may shed coxsackie virus for several weeks.
  • Although lab tests for coxsackie viruses can be done, the vast majority of infections are diagnosed by clinical features (HFMD blisters/ulcers), but this may change with the onset of new outbreaks and causes of severe HFMD.
  • There is no specific treatment or vaccine available for coxsackie virus infections.
  • Prevention is difficult; avoid direct contact with anyone with HFMD, and their stool, saliva, and blister fluid. Hand washing and cleaning of items handled by HFMD patients are the best additional methods for prevention.

What is coxsackie virus?

Coxsackie virus is a member of the Picornaviridae family of viruses in the genus termed Enterovirus. Coxsackie viruses are subtype members of Enterovirus that have a single strand of ribonucleic acid (RNA) for its genetic material. The enteroviruses are also referred to as picornaviruses (pico means "small," so "small RNA viruses"). Coxsackie virus was first isolated from human feces in the town of Coxsackie, N.Y., in 1948 by G. Dalldorf. Coxsackie virus is also written as coxsackievirus in some publications.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/2/2015


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