Symptoms and Signs of Non-Polio Enterovirus Infection

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 8/12/2021

Doctor's Notes on Non-Polio Enterovirus Infection

Enteroviruses are common viruses spread among people by secretions from the gastrointestinal tract or sometimes by respiratory secretions. They are small RNA viruses that belong to the family Picornaviridae and are typically classified as polioviruses or non-polio enteroviruses. A number of different viral types belong to the non-polio enteroviruses, including Coxsackieviruses, echoviruses, enterovirus D68, and others.

Non-polio enterovirus infections often do not produce any symptoms or cause only mild illness with symptoms such as:

Other non-polio enterovirus infections may cause meningitis, accompanied by symptoms such as: 

Serious infections with non-polio enteroviruses are less common but may cause:

  • pericarditis (inflammation of the outer lining sac of the heart),
  • myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle), 
  • encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), and
  • paralysis.

What Is the Treatment for Non-Polio Enterovirus Infection?

There are no antiviral medications currently approved for the treatment of non-polio enterovirus infections, so treatment is supportive and aimed at reducing symptoms. Supportive treatments may include:

  • Medications to control pain and fever
  • Breathing support, in the form of medications, oxygen delivery, or in severe cases, intubation
  • Medications to control nausea and vomiting or other symptoms

In some cases, immunoglobulins may be used to treat infected neonates and immunocompromised hosts as well as to prevent non-polio enterovirus central nervous system infections, but these immunoglobulin treatments are not always very effective.

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