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Coxsackievirus (cont.)

What Is the Incubation Period for a Coxsackievirus Infection?

Like many contagious respiratory or intestinal illnesses, once the coxsackievirus enters the body, it takes an average of one to two days for symptoms to develop (incubation period).

What Is the Contagious Period for a Coxsackievirus Infection?

People are most contagious in the first week of illness, but the virus may still be present up to one week after symptoms resolve. The virus may be reside longer in children and those whose immune system is weak.

How Does the Coxsackievirus Spread?

Coxsackievirus is spread from person to person. The virus is present in the secretions and bodily fluids of infected people. The virus may be spread by coming into contact with respiratory secretions from infected patients. If infected people rub their runny noses and then touch a surface, that surface can harbor the virus and become a source of infection. The infection is spread when another person touches the contaminated surface and then touches his or her mouth or nose.

People who have infected eyes (conjunctivitis) can spread the virus by touching their eyes and touching other people or touching a surface. Conjunctivitis may spread rapidly and appear within one day of exposure to the virus. Coxsackieviruses are also shed in stool, which may be a source of transmission among young children. The virus can be spread if unwashed hands get contaminated with fecal matter and then touch the face. This is particularly important for spread within day-care centers or nurseries where diapers are handled. Diarrhea is the most common sign of coxsackievirus intestinal infection.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/24/2016

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