Coxsackievirus: Prevention and Treatment

09 November, 2018
Coxsackievirus can stay on contaminated surfaces for up to three days.

Coxsackievirus has been on the rise for many years. Unfortunately, it can infect both children and adults. Today, we’re going to tell you more about coxsackievirus, along with the method of prevention and treatment.

Its name comes from New York City, where it was first isolated and officially investigated.

  • Coxsackievirus exists on all the continents in the world.
  • In places with a more tropical climate, coxsackievirus can show up at virtually any time of the year.
  • In places with a traditional four-season year, the virus is most likely to appear during Spring and Autumn.

What is coxsackievirus?

Coxsackievirus is also known as the hand-foot-mouth disease. The main symptoms of this virus usually appear in the extremeties and throat.

The nasty virus belongs to the enterovirus genus. This genus infects humans and causes a wide variety of diseases like poliomyelitis, hepatitis A, and many more.

Even though it exists among demographics of all ages, coxsackievirus mainly affects children younger than twelve. 

There are two different types of the virus. The first is virus type A, and the second, virus type B. These two types exhibit symptoms that are practically identical to each other, though there are some differences.

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What are the main symptoms of coxsackievirus?

symptoms of coxsackievirus

Many of the children infected with this virus don’t show any outward symptoms. Here is a list of the general symptoms or problems that the virus might cause in a child:

  • Headaches
  • Throat pain and irritation
  • Fevers higher than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius)
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite

There are also some other symptoms specific to coxsackievirus:

  • The formation of small blisters on the feet, and hands that in general are very sensitive to touch.
  • The formation of blisters in the throat, the roof of the mouth, and inside of the cheeks. There will also be a redness that spreads just around the blisters.

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How do you get coxsackievirus?

woman sneezing

You can come into contact with the virus in almost any environment. It’s a virus you mainly contract by inhaling it into any one of your respiratory airways.

But, there are also some other ways you might get it:

  • Touching your mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth), after being in contact with a contaminated surface.
  • Having direct contact with the mucous membranes of an infected person.
  • Having direct contact with the feces of an infected person
  • Direct contact with the fluids secreted by the blisters of an infected person.

This virus is capable of staying alive in the blisters on the skin for up to three days. A child is more likely to be exposed to the virus in a daycare or in school.

Plus, the incubation period of the virus in our bodies can take anywhere from 3-7 days. You won’t know you have the virus until that time passes.

Coxsackievirus treatment and prevention

There is no cure, or specific treatment for the sickness. With time, your body will naturally defend itself and fight it off. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any methods of prevention or treatment for coxsackievirus to help you avoid it or deal with it faster.

The symptoms should disappear within 7 days, but there are some medicines and homemade remedies that you can use to make them less bothersome.

Medicines for coxsackievirus

  • To reduce the fever, you can use medicines like paracetamol or ibuprofen. You can easily get either of these at your nearest pharmacy.
  • You should only use aspirin as a form of treatment if the patient is an adultIt’s also a medicine that can help combat the symptoms.

Homemade treatments for coxsackievirus

  • To bring down the fever, you can use can soak a towel in lukewarm water and lay it over the head, hands, and/or feet.
  • Refreshing the body with alcohol is an excellent idea. However, be careful to keep the alcohol out of any cuts or wounds on the skin.
  • Taking chamomile baths will help to diminish hives and blisters on the skin.
  • Drinking alcoholic beverages can help your body to stay hydrated and effectively fight the virus.
  • Basil is a great supplement to make infusions out of.

Basi infusion ingredients:

  • 6 basil leaves
  • 1 cup of water (250 ml)


  • Heat up the water until boiling, and then add the basil leaves.
  • Let the leaves dissolve into the water for about 15 minutes, and then turn off the heat completely.
  • Filter the water, and drink it.

Coxsackievirus prevention

Just like there’s not a 100% effective treatment, there’s no surefire prevention method for coxsackievirus. You can unfortunately come into contact with it anytime, anywhere.

Despite this fact, the best way to reduce the risk of contracting the virus is hygiene. This is just another reason it’s so important to teach our children the rules of basic hygiene.

So, it might not sound like there’s much you can do in the way of coxsackievirus treatment and prevention, but every little bit helps. If you find yourself around it, or with it, follow our tips to get through the outbreak!

  • California Childcare Health Program. UCSF School of Nursing. Enfermedad De Mano-Pie-Boca (Enterovirus Coxsackie A16).
  • Martínez Estrada V. Et Al. Rev Cent Dermatol Pascua. Vol. 8, Núm. 1. Enfermedad mano-pie-boca. (1999).
  • CARPENTER, C. M., & BOAK, R. A. (1952). Coxsackie viruses; a review of pathologic, epidemiologic, diagnostic and etiologic observations. California medicine, 77(2), 127–130
  • Guerra AM, Waseem M. Hand Foot And Mouth Disease. [Updated 2019 Dec 23]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-. Available from:
  • Zhang S, Zhi C, Li H, et al. Umifenovir effectively inhibits IL-10 dependent persistent Coxsackie B4 virus infection. Antiviral Res. 2017;141:165‐173. doi:10.1016/j.antiviral.2017.02.018