KidsMD Health Topics

Herpangina

  • Overview

    Herpangina is an illness caused by a virus, characterized by small blister-like bumps or ulcers that appear in the mouth, usually in the back of throat or the roof of the mouth. If your child has herpangina, she will probably have a high fever. Herpangina is very and is usually seen in children between the ages of 1 and 4. It's seen most often in the summer and fall.

    What causes herpangina?

    Herpangina is caused by a virus. The most common viruses that cause herpangina are:

    • coxsackie virus
    • echovirus


    Boston Children's Hospital 
    300 Longwood Avenue
    Hunnewell 4
    Boston MA 02115

     617-355-6571
     fax: 617-730-0478
  • In-Depth

    You can help prevent your child from getting herpangina by ensuing that her hands are kept clean. If your child has herpangina, good handwashing is also necessary to help prevent the spread of the disease.

    The following are the most common symptoms of herpangina. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms to look for in your child include:

    • blister-like bumps in the mouth, usually in the back of the throat and on the roof of the mouth
    • headache
    • quick onset of fever
    • high fever, sometimes up to 106F
    • pain in the mouth or throat
    • drooling
    • decrease in appetite
  • Tests

    Herpangina is usually diagnosed based on a complete history and physical examination of your child. The lesions of herpangina are unique and usually allow for a diagnosis simply on physical examination.

  • The goal of treatment for herpangina is to help decrease the severity of the symptoms. Since it's a viral infection, antibiotics are ineffective. Treatment for your child may include:

    • increased fluid intake
    • acetaminophen for any fever
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