WHAT IS THE COXSACKIE VIRUS?
The coxsackievirus is classified as an enterovirus, it is one of a group of viruses first isolated in Coxsackie, New York in 1948. There are six group B coxsackie viruses and twenty three group A viruses. Most infections with this pathogen are relatively mild. It causes several virulent illnesses including myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle), acute respiratory infections, epidemic hemorrhagic conjunctivitis (an eye infection), and meningitis. Most are self limiting causing acute disease then subsiding on their own after running a brief course.
Treatment consist of supportive care, there is no cure for these pathogens. Antiviral medications are prescribed infrequently because they lack effectiveness and do not shorten the duration of the illness.
Coxsackie virus is a member of the group of viruses known as enteroviruses, which is s ingle strand of ribonucleic acid (RNA). They also live in the digestive tract and spread from person to person. It is usually spread because of people not following proper hand washing procedures after using the bathroom. There are two groups of Coxsackie virus, type A and type B. The type A virus cause hand, foot, and mouth disease. Type B causes epidemicpleurodynia.
The reason it was given the name "Coxsackie," is because it was first found in the town of Coxsackie, New York.
Infections caused by viruses of the Coxsackie group are characterized by a wide variety of clinical symptoms as: acute respiratory diseases, herpangina, myalgia, myocarditis, pericarditis, nephritis, meningitis, encephalitis, paralytic disease, febrile illness accompanied by exanthema etc..
Coxackie viruses belong to the enterovirus family and they are divided into two subgroups:
- A, with 23 serotypes, cause an experimental disease, with large lesions of myositis, with muscles paralysis;
- B, with six serotypes, causes muscles damages, degenerative lesions of the CNS, myocardium, endocardium, pancreas.
It is evolving most commonly in children but also adult, with summer-autumn seasonality. It can occur as nosocomial infections.
Epidemiological Key Factors
Source of infection is the human, who may be sick, inaparent infected (50-80% of cases) or a healthy carrier (the virus is transferred through faeces or naso-pharyngeal secretions).
Epidemiological Secondary Factors
- Poor hygiene conditions
Prevention and Control
There is no specific prophylaxis (vaccine).
It is recommended to avoid the contact of newborns with ill suspects.
In the epidemic case is recommended to avoid crowds or to swim in dirty pools.