|MadSci Network: Immunology|
Dear A. Tully:
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, herpangina, also known as hand-foot- and mouth disease, is caused by a subgroup of Coxsackie viruses, and is common in children. It can be passed by saliva contact, by contact with an infected person's stool, or by contact with the fluid from the blisters on the hands and feet. Infection with the virus can cause inflammation and ulceration (blisters and broken blisters that look like cold sores) of the throat, soft palate, and occasionally the hands and feet (thus the name hand-foot- and mouth disease). In general, the symptoms resolve on their own, but in the meantime the throat can be extremely painful and the infected person can run a high fever. The disease is most common in the summer and early fall.
The best way to avoid herpangina is to wash your hands often and teach your children to wash their hands often, as this is the most common means of transmission.
Hope this helps!
Ingrid Dodge, Mad Scientist
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