Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

Herpangina is a disease caused by a virus that causes small, blister-like bumps in the mouth. This condition is usually characterized by pain from sores at the back of the mouth and throat. In severe cases, herpangina may be present along with lesions or abnormal tissue in the mouth.

Reported Stanford Children’s Health, herpangina is reported to often attack children aged around 3 to 10 years. The disease is most commonly identified in summer and autumn.

1. Symptoms

Herpangina: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatmentillustration of a child with a fever ( Fring)

Some children who develop herpangina can develop symptoms that vary, depending on the condition of each individual. However, the most common symptoms that are commonly shown are:

  • High fever.
  • Fatigue.
  • Sore throat.
  • Difficulty swallowing.
  • Neck and head pain.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Intensity of vomiting or drooling.
  • There are blisters in the throat and mouth that are reddish gray in color.
  • Swollen lymph nodes.

Because many children have difficulty eating or drinking due to pain, they may be more at risk of becoming dehydrated.

Herpangina tends to infect in the first 7 days after contracting. Usually in the early stages there are no symptoms. At that time, the virus was in the incubation period.

2. Cause

Herpangina: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatmentillustration of a child sleeping (

Herpangina is most often caused by a virus coxsackie type A. In addition, this disease can also occur due to enterovirus 71, a viral coxsackie type B, and echovirus (cases are rarer).

This viral infection is very contagious, especially in children. This is because they have not yet developed strong antibodies to fight off viral infections.

The virus that causes herpangina can be spread through splashes of sneezes, coughs, or contact with feces. However, after a child is exposed to herpangina, they usually develop a natural immunity to the virus that causes the disease.

One way to help reduce the risk of spreading the virus is to inculcate proper hand washing habits.

Also Read: Hypomagnesemia: Causes, Symptoms, Complications, Treatment

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3. Diagnosis

Herpangina: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatmentillustration of a doctor examining a child ( Danilyuk)

The diagnosis of herpangina is made based on a review of the medical history and physical examination by a doctor. The nodules on herpangina have different characteristics, making it easier for doctors to distinguish between this disease and other conditions. Laboratory tests may be recommended to test for enterovirus. However, generally laboratory tests are rarely performed.

Several other factors that are also considered in the diagnosis process include:

  • Age of infected child.
  • Exposure from other people with the same condition.
  • Virus incubation period.
  • Time related to the division of seasons.

4. Treatment

Herpangina: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatmentillustration of a child drinking milk ( Green)

The goal of treatment for herpangina focuses on managing the condition to reduce pain until it heals. The time required for treatment ranges from 7 to 10 days.

Some of the treatment and treatment options for herpangina include:

  • Take pain relievers: Paracetamol or ibuprofen can be taken to help control fever, headache, and pain in the mouth and throat.
  • Topical Anesthesia: Use lidocaineOther topical creams, creams, or gels can be used to relieve pain. It is important to remember that the products used must be from a doctor’s recommendation and adapted to the age of the child.
  • Gargle: Gargling with a warm, salt water solution can also help relieve pain. This can be done repeatedly as needed.
  • Keeping the body hydrated: Dehydration is a threat to children with herpangina. For this reason, it is important for parents to act more actively in meeting their child’s fluid needs. Remember, hot drinks and fruit juices are not recommended because they can worsen the pain.
  • Eat foods that do not exacerbate irritation: Hot, spicy, and salty foods can make herpangina symptoms worse. Food choices that should be consumed are fruit (except fruit with a sour taste such as oranges), vegetables, and milk.

5. Prevention

Herpangina: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatmenthand washing illustration ( Subiyanto)

As mentioned earlier, preventive measures that are considered effective in preventing herpangina are to get children used to washing their hands diligently. Parents need to educate their children that after using the bathroom and before eating they must wash their hands first.

Another form of prevention is when coughing or sneezing, it is recommended to cover your mouth to prevent the possibility of spreading the virus. Furthermore, children are encouraged to wash their hands. Thus, children must gain knowledge about how to wash their hands properly.

Herpangina is highly contagious among children, but in mild cases it usually clears up in a week or so. Another problem that is often caused by herpangina is dehydration. This can be prevented with home treatments, namely meeting the fluid needs of children. Apart from this infectious disease, children should be accustomed to implementing a clean and healthy lifestyle as early as possible.

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