What to know about Coxsackievirus - summer sickness?

High fever, headache, muscle aches, perhaps sore throat, abdominal discomfort are symptoms of Coxsackievirus - a common virus in this season. 

They can spread from person to person, usually on unwashed hands and surfaces contaminated by feces, where they can live for several days.

A child with a coxsackievirus infection may simply feel hot but have no other symptoms. In most kids, the fever lasts about 3 days, then disappears.

Coxsackieviruses can also cause several different symptoms that affect different body parts, including: red blisters in the throat and on the tongue, gums, hard palate, inside of the cheeks, and the palms of hands and soles of the feet.

There is no vaccine to prevent coxsackievirus infection. Hand washing is the best protection.  Shared toys in childcare centers should be routinely cleaned with a disinfectant because the virus can live on these objects for days.

The duration of an infection varies widely. For fever without other symptoms, a child's temperature may return to normal within 24 hours, although the average fever lasts 3 to 4 days. Hand, foot, and mouth disease usually lasts for 2 or 3 days; viral meningitis can take 3 to 7 days to clear up.

Call the doctor immediately if your child develops any of the following symptoms: fever higher than 100.4°F (38°C) for infants younger than 6 months and higher than 102°F (38.8°C) for older kids, poor appetite, trouble feeding, vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, convulsions, unusual sleepiness, pain in the chest or abdomen, sores on the skin or inside the mouth, severe sore throat, severe headache, especially with vomiting, confusion, or unusual sleepiness, neck stiffness, red, swollen, and watery eyes, pain in one or both testicles

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