Herpangina

Definition

Herpangina is a viral illness that involves ulcers and sores (lesions) inside the mouth, a sore throat, and fever.

Hand, foot, and mouth disease is a related topic.

Causes

Herpangina is a common childhood infection. It is most often seen in children ages 3 to 10, but it can occur in any age group.

It is most often caused by Coxsackie group A viruses. These viruses are contagious. Your child is at risk for herpangina if someone at school or home has the illness.

Symptoms

Symptoms may include:

The ulcers most often have a white to whitish-gray base and a red border. They may be very painful. In most cases, there are only a few sores.

Exams and Tests

Tests are not normally necessary. Your health care provider can most often diagnose this condition by doing a physical exam and asking questions about the child's symptoms and medical history.

Treatment

The symptoms are treated as necessary:

Outlook (Prognosis)

The illness normally clears up within a week.

Possible Complications

Dehydration is the most common complication, but it can be treated by your provider.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your provider if:

Prevention

Good handwashing can help prevent the spread of the viruses that lead to this infection.


Review Date: 9/5/2017
Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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