Symptoms and Signs of Coxsackievirus Infection

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Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Doctor's Notes on Coxsackievirus Infection

Coxsackie viruses are enteroviruses; there are numerous serotypes. Signs and symptoms vary; many infections may not cause any symptoms while other infections may cause the common cold, and reddish rash, sore throat or diarrhea. Less common but more severe signs and symptoms include meningitis (a stiff neck, chest pain and febrile), upper respiratory tract infections that may include cough, weakness and fatigue. Toward the end of some infections, a sunburn – like rash may occur.

The virus may also cause hand-foot-mouth disease (commonly seen in children) and cause characteristic red spots and blisters on the soles of the feet, the palms and/or inside the mouth. In some children, the tender blisters occur only inside the mouth with fever and sore throat (herpangina). Other Coxsackie viruses may cause conjunctivitis with swollen eyelids and red hemorrhages in the whites of the eye.

Rarely, some viral types may cause paralysis and/or weakness that is usually not permanent. Other rare signs and symptoms are pleurodynia (sharp chest pain and possibly abdominal pain), myopericarditis (shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling and fatigue), severe infections of the newborn (child becomes listless and/or unresponsive) and orchitis in young boys (inflammation and swelling of one or both testicles with severe pain).

The cause of the above symptoms and signs is infection with Coxsackie viruses.


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.