What is herpangina?
Herpangina is an illness caused by a virus. It is characterized by small blister-like bumps or ulcers that appear in the mouth. They are usually in the back of the throat or the roof of the mouth. The child often has a high fever with the illness.
What causes herpangina?
Herpangina is caused by a virus. The most common viruses that cause herpangina include the following:
Coxsackie viruses A and B
Echovirus (less often)
Herpangina is a very common disease in children. It is usually seen in children between the ages of 3 and 10. It is seen most often in the summer and fall. Good hand-washing is necessary to help prevent the spread of the disease.
What are the signs and symptoms of herpangina?
The following are the most common signs and symptoms of herpangina. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Signs and symptoms may include:
Blister-like bumps in the mouth, usually in the back of the throat and on the roof of the mouth
Quick onset of fever
High fever, sometimes up to 106°F (41°C)
Pain in the mouth or throat
Decrease in appetite
How is herpangina diagnosed?
Herpangina is usually diagnosed based on a complete history and physical exam of your child. The lesions of herpangina are unique and usually allow for a diagnosis simply on physical exam.
What is the treatment for herpangina?
Specific treatment for herpangina will be discussed with you by your child’s healthcare provider based on:
Your child’s age, overall health, and medical history
Extent of the disease
Your child’s tolerance for specific medicines, procedures, or therapies
Expectations for the course of the disease
Your opinion or preference
The goal of treatment for herpangina is to help decrease the severity of the symptoms. Since it is a viral infection, antibiotics are ineffective. Treatment may include:
Increased fluid intake
Acetaminophen for any fever
Bland diet, such as cold milk and ice cream (avoid acidic and spicy foods)
Proper hand-washing is essential in helping to prevent the disease from being spread to other children.