Symptoms and Signs of Herpangina

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 3/21/2019

Doctor's Notes on Herpangina

Herpangina is an acute, febrile and contagious viral illness associated with small vesicles (blisters) or ulcers on the roof of the mouth and the back of the throat, seen mainly in infants and children. The signs and symptoms of herpangina may include the following: Sore throat, fever, headache, decreased or loss of appetite, swallowing problems due to mouth and throat pain, drooling, lymph gland swelling, nausea and/or vomiting, neck pain and ulcers in throat and back of the mouth. Rarely, severe symptoms such as meningitis, neurological changes and dehydration.

Infection with enteroviruses (members of the Picornaviridae family) such as coxsackievirus A16, enterovirus 71, and coxsackievirus B are the most frequent causes of herpangina. Less common causes may include echovirus, adenovirus, parechovirus, and herpes simplex virus (HSV). In pregnant patients, low birth weight and preterm delivery may occur. Infants and children (ages 3-10 years) are at higher risk to develop herpangina during the summer and fall.

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