Herpangina is an infectious disease affecting children causing symptoms like fever, flu and sore throat. It is characterized by the appearance of fluid filled blisters on the mouth. The blisters will be formed on the roof of oral cavity and on the throat making it difficult to eat or drink. This infection is caused by virus and suitable antiviral medications are given to treat herpangina. It is a self limited infection fading away within few days.
Herpangina is caused by Coxsackie viruses group. The micro-organism will enter into the body of the child through oral route often. The child will get infection when he eats contaminated food and sometimes it can spread through fecal particles. For some children the virus can enter through respiratory route when the child gets in contact with infected mucus. The virus will not produce any symptom as soon as it enters the body but wait for certain time called incubation period to cause fever and sore throat.
Risk Factors :
Since herpangina is an infectious disease it can easily spread to infants and children whose immunity is weak. The infectious child is at high risk of spreading the viruses to other children at school and day care centers. The rate of infection is high during summer and autumn.
Some of the common signs of herpangina are fever, sore throat, body pain, headache and loss of appetite. The symptoms may appear suddenly and the child would refuse to eat or drink. In addition this disease is marked by small blisters on the mouth and more specifically on the throat region. In rare cases, skin rash will develop on some parts of the body.
The lymph nodes on the neck would get enlarged and swollen causing pain. The throat would become red and look swollen. The infected infant will be crying and drooling due to discomfort. Due to inadequate liquid balance the child or infant can develop dehydration.
Your doctor will check the child looking for blisters on the oral cavity and on the upper throat region. No specific test is available for detecting herpangina.
The doctor will have to consider the age of the child, his health condition and intensity of symptoms before giving any treatment. For reducing fever and body pain, Ibuprofen would be given. Antipyretic medication like Tylenol is effective. The infected child should be kept hydrated and hence you should encourage drinking plenty of fluids.
Topical drug like lidocaine and topical anesthetics are effective in controlling the pain. Though it is a self limited illness still you should not take chance with your child’s health condition. Before giving any self treatment it is better to consult your health care provider. An antibiotic is of no use for herpangina since it is viral infection.
Images, Pics, Photos and Pictures of Herpangina :
Herpangina virus is contagious and hence don’t send your child to school if he/she have fever or sore throat. Instruct your child to wash the hands thoroughly before taking food and after using toilet. The helpers employed at day care centers should take precaution while changing diapers of infected child since she can carry the virus on her fingers through fecal particles. So far no vaccine has been discovered for preventing herpangina.