What is the Coxsackievirus

Coxsackie Viruses(Synonyms: Coxsackievirus infection; Coxsackievirus disease; hand-foot-mouth rash; ICD-10-GM B34.1: Infection by enteroviruses of unspecified location) are RNA viruses and belong to the enterovirus genus, to the picornavirus family. One can differentiate between serotypes A and B, which in turn can be divided into several subgroups.
The picornaviruses also include the polioviruses (pathogen causing poliomyelitis / polio) and the hepatitis A virus.

Coxsackie viruses are thought to cause many different diseases.

Humans are currently the only relevant thing Pathogen reservoir represent.

Occurrence: The infections occur worldwide and have a high level of infection.

The Contagiousness (Infectiousness or transmission capacity of the pathogen) is high.

The pathogens are relatively insensitive to disinfectants.

The disease occurs more frequently in the summer months.

The transmission of the pathogen (path of infection) occurs fecal-oral (infections in which pathogens excreted in the stool (fecal) are taken up via the mouth (orally), e.g. through contaminated drinking water and / or contaminated food). Transmission through secretions of the respiratory tract (respiratory system) or a smear infection (e.g. in conjunctivitis / conjunctivitis) is also possible.

Human-to-human transmission: Yes.

The incubation period (Time from infection to onset of the disease) averages 1-2 weeks, but can also be 2-35 days.

Frequency peak: The disease occurs mainly in children.

The Duration of infectivity (Infectiousness) begins 2-3 days before the onset of the disease and persists for the duration of the symptoms. The virus can be detected in the stool for up to several weeks.

The disease leaves a type-specificimmunity.

Course and prognosis: Therapy is symptomatic. The course is usually mild. Complications are observed with infections with the Coxsackie B virus. These can include meningitis, meningoencephalitis (inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) and meninges (meningitis)), myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscles) or pericarditis (inflammation of the pericardium).

In Germany, the disease is according to the Infection Protection Act (IfSG) not notifiable


  1. S2k guideline: laboratory diagnostics of viral infections relevant to pregnancy. (AWMF registration number: 093-001), March 2014 long version

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