Herpangina is a term also referred to as mouth ulcer or blister which can affect any age range, though, it is more occurring in children.
Herpangina can be mistaken for Hand-Foot-Mouth (HFM) as both are a result of a virus known as the enteroviruses with just disparities in the location of the sores. They both have similar signs and symptoms. Cases of herpangina are rare in adults due to the presence of antibodies with sturdy capabilities of fighting the virus. For children, the herpangina tends to occur to children within the age range of 3 to 10 years.
Herpangina is infectious and it can be proliferated when an infected person sneezes or coughs. Generally, little liquid from the respiratory system is enough to disperse the virus.
Enteroviruses can be airborne but can also survive on any object affected by the dispersed droplet for some days such as the ground, toy, or even door handles. Therefore, anyone that comes in contact with the virus before it dies and happens to inhale the virus into their system gets infected with herpangina.
Herpangina does not have a cure or can not be completely exterminated but can be controlled by managing the symptoms with the aid of certain medications.
Surprisingly, the enteroviruses can vanish without any aid sometimes between 7 to 10 days of infection. Statistics show that the self-elimination of the virus is mostly in almost all cases. Therefore, there are no extreme complications associated with the herpangina.
Possible complications present are listed below:
- Herpangina is said to be extremely infectious and occurs between the top of the mouth and throat. This virus can be easily transferred from one child to another.
- Children are at risk in this case due to the inability to develop sturdy antibodies to exterminate the virus. Therefore, children between the ages of 3 to 10 should be properly watched.
- Also, patients who do not have strong antibodies to fight the infection are susceptible to the virus. Herpangina can also be extremely contagious in autumn and summer periods as climate change tends to spike the rate of spreading of the herpangina.
- Risks involved in contracting the virus are enormous for children in schools, playgrounds, or even camps as they can not properly manage the atmosphere of the surrounding with possible coxsackievirus A or not washing hands regularly.
Social gathering can prompt the easy spread of the virus resulting in herpangina in adults. Churches, meetings, or even the army barracks are possible locations for the widespread of the virus.
Strong antibodies present in the adult system can terminate the symptoms within the period of 7 to 10 days due to immunity accumulated over a long period. Herpangina in kids and teenagers can detrimental as symptoms accompanied virus are chronic. These complications are listed below:
- Temperature level being above 39°C (103°F) which occurs frequently for several days.
- Dehydration is imminent.
- Abnormal urine color.
- Sores around the top of the mouth and back of the throat for over 5 days and more.
- Decreased input of urine.
The above complications are fatal and feasible for children under the age of one.
When possible herpangina symptoms are observed, it is advisable to visit a hospital. In the hospital, the doctor is to utilize the previous medical history of the patient alongside an examination of the physical state of the patient before making deductions.
The infection can be deduced easily due to the presence of blisters or ulcers at the back of the throat and roof of the mouth.
Other possible factors influencing the diagnosis of herpangina are:
- Swelling in the brain.
- Failure of the liver.
- Brain Infection.
- Infection of the spinal cord.
Laboratory tests can be conducted to identify the retroviruses but they are not deemed important due to obvious symptoms.
Herpangina has no specific cure or treatment program but the symptoms can be managed by decreasing the discomfort experienced and permitting the virus to dissolve on its own.
The dissolution of the virus takes place between 7 to 10 days after exposure minimizing the fatality of the infection. The ways of minimizing the virus through medications are listed below:
In-take of pain relief medications is prescribed to reduce the effects of the symptoms experienced. These pain relievers are ibuprofen or acetaminophen and they are efficient in minimizing symptoms like headache, fever, and pain experienced between the mouth and throat.
Not all pain relief medications are to be utilized for children as some possess life-threatening effects. An example of this medication is aspirin.
Another means of controlling symptoms of the herpangina by utilizing topical anesthetics. Creams like lidocaine and gels which can be applied to the mouth may act as a reliever for the pains. These creams are specifically selected for use considering the age group of the affected patient.
Frequently rinsing the mouth can help subdue the pain. A water and salt solution is adequate to provide satisfactory results.
Herpangina can result in dehydration, therefore, regular intake of warm water is required or deemed important for optimum recovery. hot liquids or fruit juice should be avoided as they can ignite excess pain in the throat and mouth. Frozen popsicles that do not contain citrus can reduce pain.
Food with low irritability and low citrus content such as bananas, vegetables, and most soothing foods can help ease the pain.
Proper observation of the symptoms is recommended as new symptoms may develop or the symptoms might exceed the 7 to 10 days period of extinction. When this happens, it is advisable to consult a medical practitioner immediately.
Herpangina can be prevented basically by observing good hygiene. Other means of preventing herpangina are outlined below:
- Time of the year, summer, or autumn can aid the diagnosis.
- The age range of the affected patient plays a major role in the diagnosis of herpangina. It is more occurring for patients between the ages of 3 to 10.
- Time is was taken for the incubation to take place, usually between 2 to 5 days after exposure to the virus. Exposure to others with the same condition.
- Contact with an infected person or a possible infected area.
HERPANGINA MORTALITY RATE
Most children infected with herpangina recover. Fatalities are only present for children between 6 to 11 months as they do not have strong antibodies to fight the virus.
- Parents are required to wash hands regularly after changing diapers or touching mucus.
- Cleaning the environment frequently and using disinfectants can help terminate the virus.
- Children diagnosed with the virus are to avoid social gatherings.
- Washing of hands properly and regularly can aid prevention. Also, washing hands before and after eating is a necessity and criteria for maintaining good hygiene.
- Covering of the mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing is required to prevent the possible spread of the virus and washing the hands thereafter.
Herpangina symptoms are observed between a period of 2 to 5 days immediately after exposure to the enteroviruses. The symptoms experienced are listed below:
- High fever.
- Loss of appetite.
- Sore throat.
- Pains experienced when eating.
- Presence of ulcer or painful blister between the mouth and the throat.
- Lymph glands get swollen.
- Neck pains.
- Frequent vomiting.
- Patient drools.
- Eyes and cheeks sink in.
Herpangina is a result of a major group of viruses known as enteroviruses. These enteroviruses are classified into the following:
- Coxsackievirus A.
- Enterovirus 71.
- Coxsackievirus B.
Amongst the above-listed types, the coxsackievirus A is said to be responsible for most of the cases responsible for the outbreak of the herpangina. The Echovirus is said to be the least of the type of enteroviruses affecting the patient diagnosed.
Is Herpangina the same as Hand Foot Mouth?
Herpangina and hand-foot-mouth (HFM) disease or both illnesses that are caused by enteroviruses with the same symptoms but the Herpangina is different from the HFM due to the location of the blister or ulcer.
The herpangina occurs at the back of the throat and roof of the mouth. Hand-foot-mouth disease causes blisters on the feet or lower part of the body.
Is Herpangina contagious in adults?
Individuals affected by herpangina are contagious 2 to 10 days after exposure even if they are asymptomatic.
Adults can also spread the infection to their children too.
Is Herpangina serious?
Herpangina is not a serious condition except for infants between the age group of 6 to 11 months.
What is the incubation period for Herpangina?
Herpangina incubation period ranges from 2 to 5 days after exposure.
How long does it take for Herpangina to go away?
Herpangina has no cure but can be managed. Also, herpangina can be exterminated before medications and certain measures were taken but generally, herpangina can vanish without any aid and this can be between 7 to 10 days after exposure. The presence of the virus after this period elapses requires urgent medical attention.