Coxsackieviruses are non-enveloped viruses from the family of picornaviruses. Coxsackieviruses are distributed worldwide and are of infectiological importance, among other things, as the causing pathogen of hand-foot-and-mouth disease. Hand-foot-and-mouth disease which often affects children under 10 years of age, is occasionally mistaken for foot-and-mouth disease (in ungulates).
After an incubation period averaging three to 10 days, fever and a sore throat may be the first symptoms to appear. In the course of disease, changes in the oral mucosa, and a rash on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet may develop. However, more than 80% of infections are asymptomatic; only in rare cases serious neurological symptoms, for example, can occur. Infected individuals are contagious for the duration of the excretion of pathogens in the stool, which can occur over a period of several weeks.
The main path of transmission for Coxsackieviruses is the faecal-oral ingestion through contact or smear infections. However, virus-contaminated droplets are also potentially infectious.
Hygiene measures can make an important contribution to protection against infections with Coxsackieviruses. A disinfectant with virucidal efficacy should be used for both hand and surface disinfection.
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- Robert-Koch-Institute, Compendium Infectiology & Infection prevention: enteroviruses.
(accessed on 17.03.2023
- Robert-Koch-Institute, RKI-Ratgeber: hand-foot-and-mouth disease.
(accessed on 17.03.2023)