DEFINITION--A viral inflammation of the mouth and throat. It may be confused
with canker sores, strep throat or herpes.
BODY PARTS INVOLVED--Soft palate (back of the mouth and tonsil area).
SEX OR AGE MOST AFFECTED--Young children (1 to 10 years).
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
- Sudden sore throat, with redness, inflammation and painful swallowing.
- General ill feeling.
- Vomiting and abdominal pain (sometimes).
- Tiny blisters (vesicles) in the affected areas. The blisters become small ulcers.
CAUSES--Infection from a virus (coxsackievirus) that is spread from person to
person. Incubation period is usually from 2-7 days.
RISK INCREASES WITH--Summer and early fall seasons.
HOW TO PREVENT
- Cannot be prevented at present, but wash hands carefully to prevent its spread.
- Avoid close personal contact such as kissing or sharing food.
What To Expect
- Your own observation of symptoms.
- Medical history and physical exam by a doctor.
APPROPRIATE HEALTH CARE--Home care. Usually no treatment is necessary other than
POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS--Febrile convulsions.
PROBABLE OUTCOME--Spontaneous recovery in a few days to a week.
How To Treat
- Careful handwashing and sanitary disposal of excretions is important.
- Try to reduce high fever which might cause dehydration. Use tepid sponge baths.
MEDICATION--Medicine usually is not necessary for this disorder. You may use
non-prescription drugs, such as acetaminophen, to relieve pain and fever. Don't give
aspirin to children under age 18.
ACTIVITY--Bed rest is necessary until the fever and sore throat disappear.
DIET--No special diet. Encourage extra fluids, such as water, fruit ices, ice
chips or cool-gelatin solutions. Avoid acid fruit juices, which irritate inflamed tissues.
Call Your Doctor If