Herpangina: Description, Causes and Risk Factors:HerpanginaHerpangina is a viral infection of the mouth and throat. It may be mistaken for canker sores, strep throat, or herpes. Herpangina affects any age group but is seen primarily in infants and young children below the age 5. In temperate climates, infections occur in late summer or early fall.Herpangina is typically caused by the coxsackievirus (a group of picornaviruses, included in the genus Enterovirus, of icosahedral shape, stable at acid pH, and about 28 nm in diameter, causing myositis, paralysis, and death in young mice, and responsible for a variety of diseases in man, although inapparent infections are common. They are divided antigenically into two groups, A and B, each of which includes a number of serological types, e.g., Enterovirus coxsackie A1 to 24 and Enterovirus coxsackie B1 to 6. Type A viruses cause human Herpangina and hand-foot-and-mouth disease; type B viruses cause epidemic pleurodynia; both type viruses may cause aseptic meningitis, myocarditis and pericarditis, and acute onset juvenile diabetes), an enterovirus.Other causes may include:Coxsackievirus A16, enterovirus 71, and coxsackievirus B have been implicated most often.
  • Less-common causes include echovirus, parechovirus 1, adenovirus, and herpes simplex virus (HSV).
  • Enterovirus 71 has emerged as an important public problem, causing severe clinical illness and, potentially, death in young children. Enteroviruses that cause herpangina belong to the Picornaviridae family.
The incubation period can be 1 to 10 days but is usually 4 days.The disease is spread through direct contact with nose and throat discharges and feces of an infected person. The disease may also be spread though the respiratory tract if secretions are spread into the air and land on surfaces.Symptoms:Symptoms may include:Fever.
  • Sudden sore throat, with redness, inflammation andpainful swallowing.
  • General ill feeling.
  • Vomiting and abdominal pain (sometimes).
  • Tiny blisters (vesicles) in the affected areas. The blisters become small ulcers.
Diagnosis:Diagnosis is usually determined by the characteristicoral lesions. Other routine laboratory blood tests may berecommended.Usually no treatment is necessary other than simplepainkillers.Careful handwashing and sanitary disposal of excretions is important.Try to reduce high fever (with tepid sponge baths)that might cause dehydration.Treatment:Treatment is generally supportive and includes the following:Hydration.
  • Antipyretics (eg, acetaminophen, ibuprofen).
  • Topical analgesics (eg, topical lidocaine).
  • Special mouthwash with analgesic medication may be prescribed by a physician for those with pain. Children should be encouraged to drink fluids to avoid dehydration.
NOTE: The above information is educational purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.


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