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- Highly infectious viral disease caused most commonly by coxsackievirus and other enterovirus species (1)
- Fever of short duration (<5 days)
- Characterized by painful vesicular or ulcerated lesions in the posterior pharynx, soft palate, tonsils, and uvula
- Incubation period of ~4 days
- Usual course: acute and self-limited
- System(s) affected: endocrine/metabolic; gastrointestinal
- Year-round in tropical climates
- Peak summer and fall incidence in temperate climates
- Predominant age: typically <5 years (can occur at any age group)
- Predominant sex: male = female
Etiology and Pathophysiology
- Coxsackievirus A, types 1 to 10, 16, and 22
- Coxsackievirus B, types 1 to 5
- Echovirus, types 6, 9, 11, 17, 22, and 25
- Other enteroviruses (e.g., enterovirus B) (2)
- Contact with infected person
- Exposure to diaper changes or toilet training may increase risk (parents/teachers/daycare employees).
- Avoid contact with infected individuals.
- Fecal–oral and respiratory droplet transmission—general hygiene (hand washing) is important.
- Hand washing by preschool-aged children and their caregivers protects against spread (3).