Doctor's Notes on Coxsackievirus vs. Hand Foot Mouth Disease (HFMD)
Coxsackieviruses cause various types of infections, including the common cold and other infections that can be mild to life threatening. One variation, the coxsackievirus A-16, is responsible for hand, foot, and mouth disease, a common childhood illness. Coxsackievirus infections are contagious.
Rash is a shared symptom of coxsackievirus infections and hand, foot, and mouth disease.
Symptoms of general coxsackievirus infection also include:
Less commonly, severe symptoms of coxsackievirus infection may include:
Symptoms of hand, foot, and mouth disease include fever and general malaise (poor appetite, aches and pains, etc.). After 1 to 2 days, a blister-like rash develops on the hands, feet, and in the mouth.
What Is the Treatment for Coxsackievirus vs. Hand Foot Mouth Disease?
There are no medical treatments that can cure coxsackievirus or hand, foot, and mouth disease. In healthy children, these infections typically go away on their own without treatment. Medications to control pain and fever may be given, and it is important to make sure your child consumes enough liquids to stay hydrated and gets enough rest while recovering from the infection.
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CoxsackievirusCoxsackievirus infection is spread from person to person when an infected person does not cover their mouth when coughing or sneezing or touches someone with unwashed hands. Though most cases of coxsackievirus infection are mild, with symptoms including diarrhea and sore throat, the infection may also cause meningitis, encephalitis, chest pain, and myopericarditis. Infection in newborns may be deadly. There is no specific treatment for coxsackievirus, though acetaminophen and ibuprofen may be used to treat the symptoms.
Hand, Foot, and Mouth DiseaseHand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) is a viral illness that is common in children. Symptoms and signs include fever and a blister-like rash on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet and blisters in the mouth. Treatment focuses on alleviating the symptoms of the infection.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.