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.
Symptoms and signs of coxsackievirus infections and hand, foot, and mouth disease include rash. Symptoms of general coxsackievirus infection also include the common cold, diarrhea, sore throat, and less commonly, severe symptoms may include meningitis, encephalitis, chest pain, and inflammation of the heart. Symptoms of hand, foot, and mouth disease also 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.
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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.