Symptoms and Signs of Coxsackievirus vs. Kawasaki Disease

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 10/5/2021

Doctor's Notes on Coxsackievirus vs. Kawasaki Disease

Coxsackieviruses are common causes of infection in adults and children that can result in mild to life-threatening diseases. Coxsackievirus infection is contagiousKawasaki disease is an illness associated with fevers that typically affects previously healthy children between 6 months to 5 years of age, and it is the most common cause of acquired heart disease in children in the developed world.

Signs and symptoms of coxsackievirus infections include:

Severe coxsackievirus infection symptoms include:

Symptoms and signs of Kawasaki disease include a fever that lasts at least 5 days with at least 4 of the following criteria:

  • red eyes without discharge,
  • red and cracked lips or strawberry tongue,
  • rash,
  • swelling/redness/peeling of the hands or feet,
  • large lymph nodes of the neck, or
  • fewer of the above symptoms but with evidence of coronary aneurysms or coronary enlargement seen on echocardiogram.

What Is the Treatment for Coxsackievirus vs. Kawasaki Disease?

There are no medical treatments that can cure coxsackievirus. In healthy children, these infections typically go away on their own without treatment. Medications to control pain and fever may be given if needed.

Treatment for Kawasaki disease often involves aspirin in high doses to treat inflammation (this is an exception to the rule that aspirin should be avoided in children) and infusion of an immune system protein known as gamma globulin.


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