Coxsackie virus belongs to a group of viruses called the enteroviruses. The hand, foot and mouth disease are caused by Coxsackie virus. Most Coxsackie virus infections are not serious. The infection occurs most often in young children, usually during summer and fall. Most cases of Coxsackie virus infection are not complicated and resolve within a week or two.
A person infected with Coxsackie Virus is highly contagious, which means they can transmit the virus to other people as well. The virus can spread from one person to another though Nasal secretions, saliva, sputum, nasal mucus, fluids from scabs and faces.
The infected person is highly contagious during the first week of infection.
The infection is common in children in school and daycare settings. It spreads by breathing the air when a sick person sneezes or coughs, touching the sick person or using the utensils or toys used by the infected person, touching the used diapers of infected child and touching the nose, mouth and eyes. The virus also spreads by touching the surfaces that have virus on them like doorknobs.
Physicians can usually tell if a person has hand, foot, and mouth disease by examining the person. In some cases, they may collect samples from patient’s throat and feces for a laboratory testing. Infectolab Americas immunoassays check for IgA and IgG antibodies for Coxsackie infection which also helps in diagnosing the infection.
The common symptoms for the disease are as follows:
Reduced appetite due to mouth sores
Skin rashes specially on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. In some cases, it may show up on genitals, buttocks, and elbows.
The rash looks like flat, red spots with blisters. The fluid from the blisters are contagious, hence keep them clean and avoid touching them.
Most infected people recover and get better in 7-10 days on their own without any treatment. There is no specific treatment for this viral infection. Treating the symptoms by over the counter fever medication, keeping the kid hydrated is important as the kid might not drink enough fluids due to mouth sores and this might lead to dehydration.
See your Physician if the symptoms do not improve after 10 days, if the child is not hydrated enough or has a weekend immune system especially kids less than 6 months old.