DESCRIPTIONHerpangina is a viral inflammation of the mouth and throat. The soft palate (back of the mouth and tonsil area) is involved. Herpangina usually affects young children (1 to 10 years).
Appropriate health care includes:
Physician's monitoring of general condition and medications.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMSFever.
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.
Infection from a virus (Coxsackie virus) that is spread from person to person.
Summer and early fall seasons.
PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCECannot be prevented at present, but washing hands carefully prevents its spread.
Your own observation of symptoms.
Medical history and physical exam by a doctor.
Throat culture to rule out possible streptococcal infections.
POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONSFebrile convulsions (caused by fever).
Spontaneous recovery in a few days to a week.
HOME CARETry to reduce your child's fever if it rises above 105F (40.6C) rectally. See How to Reduce Your Child's Fever, Appendix 17.
MEDICATIONMedicine usually is not necessary for this disorder. Use non-prescription drugs, such as acetaminophen, to relieve pain and fever.
See Medications section for information regarding medicines your doctor may prescribe.
Bed rest is necessary until the fever and sore throat disappear.
DIET & FLUIDS
No special diet. Encourage your child to drink extra fluids, such as water, fruit ices, ice chips, or cool-gelatin solutions. Avoid acid fruit juices, which irritate inflamed tissues.
OK TO GO TO SCHOOL?When signs of infection have decreased, appetite returns, and alertness, strength, and feeling of well-being will allow.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
Your child has symptoms of herpangina.