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Coxsackie Virus - Hand/Foot/Mouth Disease

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What is coxsackie virus?

Coxsackie virus causes a rash on the hands, feet, and in the mouth. This is why it is called "hand, foot, and mouth disease." This disease is very common in children under 10 years of age. It can spread quickly and happens most often in late summer and fall. The rash can last from 1 to 6 days.

Signs and symptoms of coxsackie virus:

  • Fever
  • Sore mouth or throat
  • Ulcer-like sores may develop in the mouth
  • Water blisters on hands, bottom of feet, or sometimes on the legs and arms
  • Refusing to eat or drink
  • Infants and toddlers may drool more than usual

Home care of the child with coxsackie virus:

  • Good hand washing will help prevent the virus from being spread to other children.
  • Give a non-aspirin pain reliever for fever or pain.
  • Avoid acidic juices such as orange juice, pineapple juice, tomato juice, or lemonade. Also avoid foods that are hard to chew if your child's mouth is sore; instead, you can give items such as popsicles, frozen fruit bars, yogurt bars or ice cream.

Call your child’s doctor if:

  • The sores in your child's mouth are severe enough to cause eating problems.
  • Your child's temperature is greater than 101.5F by mouth or rectally.
  • There are signs of dehydration.

Signs of dehydration:

  • Dry mouth
  • Sunken look around eyes
  • No tears when crying
  • Decreased amount of urine, which means fewer wet diapers than usual in an infant/toddler

Your child may return to school or day care when he/she no longer has a fever, is able to eat and excessive drooling has stopped.


Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.

Reviewed: 07/2008

(757) 668-7000