Microbe Monday – 7/2/18

This week’s featured microbe is coxsackievirus, better known as Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease or HFMD.

Hand, foot, and mouth disease:

  • is common in children younger than 5
  • symptoms appear in stages and include mouth sores and flat red spots that blister on the hands, feet, and sometimes knees, elbows, buttocks, and/or genital
  • is part of the enterovirus family (which includes polioviruses and hepatitis A virus) that live in the human digestive tract
  • washing hands is the best way to preventan infection
  • is a single-stranded RNA virus
  • were discovered in 1948–49 by a scientist at the New York State Department of Health
  • can also cause disease of the lungs and heart
  • there are two types of the virus, A and B, differentiated based on their effects on newborn mice
  • over 24 different serotypes
  • Coxsackievirus A16 (CVA16, type A) causes the majority of infections in the U.S.
  • type B viruses cause epidemic pleurodynia (Bornholm disease)
  • types A and B can cause meningitis, myocarditis, and pericarditis
  • incubation period is between 1-5 days
  • symptoms of the disease last about 7 days
  • diagnosis is done through clinical observation, though diagnostic testing may be done on rare occasions by a specialized viral diagnostic laboratory that uses RT-PCR

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