What Is a Coxsackievirus Infection?
Coxsackieviruses are a common cause of infection in adults and children. The spectrum of disease caused by these viruses ranges from very mild to life-threatening. No vaccine is available, and there is no drug that specifically kills the virus. The key to prevention of coxsackievirus infection is good hand washing and covering the mouth when coughing or sneezing.
What Causes a Coxsackievirus Infection?
Coxsackieviruses are part of a viral genus called Enterovirus. They are divided into two groups: group A coxsackievirus and group B coxsackievirus. Each group is further divided into several serotypes. The virus is not destroyed by the acid in the stomach, and it can live on surfaces for several hours.
What Are Risk Factors for a Coxsackievirus Infection?
Being in settings where there is a high risk of exposure increases the risk of developing both viral and bacterial illnesses. Children attending day care, preschool, and grammar school may spread the infection among their peers. Newborn infants, as a consequence of their limited immune response, are extremely vulnerable to suffer substantial complications (including death) should they develop a coxsackievirus infection. Other older individuals with an underlying immune system weakness (for example, those receiving cancer chemotherapy) are also more likely to experience serious consequences should they develop a coxsackievirus infection.
Is the Coxsackievirus Contagious?
Coxsackievirus infection is contagious from person to person.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/24/2016
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