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Definition Return to top
Herpangina is a viral illness in which ulcers and lesions (sores) form inside the mouth, and there is sore throat and fever.
See also: Hand, foot, and mouth disease
Causes Return to top
Herpangina is typically caused by Coxsackie group A viruses.
The number of cases of herpangina is unknown, but it is a common childhood infection. It is most often seen in children ages 3 - 10, but it can occur in any age group. Cases of herpangina at school or in the neighborhood increase the chances that your child will develop the illness.
Symptoms Return to top
The ulcers usually have a white to whitish-gray base and a red border. They may be very painful. Generally, there are only a few sores.
Exams and Tests Return to top
Tests are not normally necessary. Diagnosis can usually be made from the history and physical examination.
Treatment Return to top
The symptoms are treated as necessary:
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
The illness normally clears up within a week.
Possible Complications Return to top
There are usually no complications.
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
Call your health care provider if:
Prevention Return to top
Coxsackie virus is transmitted by contamination with feces, which means you can catch the virus by touching your mouth or eating without thoroughly washing your hands. Good handwashing practices can help prevent transmitting most viruses.
Being aware of other cases of herpangina in your neighborhood or school may allow earlier diagnosis.Update Date: 11/12/2007 Updated by: Rachel A. Lewis, MD, FAAP, Columbia University Pediatric Family Practice, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.