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Sores or Ulcers Could Mean Herpangina

Herpangina is a common childhood illness caused by a virus. It is characterized by sores or ulcers that appear in the mouth and throat.

Most often, herpangina is caused by the Coxsackie group A viruses. It is transmitted in feces and can be spread by improper handwashing.

Most children who get the infection are between ages 3 and 10. However, any age group can become infected. The illness often spreads at schools and in neighborhoods.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Herpangina?

The following are the most common signs and symptoms of herpangina:

  • Whitish sores with red borders in the mouth and throat

  • Fever

  • Headache

  • Sore throat

  • Decrease in appetite

How Is It Treated?

Acetaminophen, fluids, and cold foods like ice cream can help your child feel more comfortable. After a week or so, the illness usually goes away on its own.

“Herpangina.” Medline Plus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, August 2, 2011. Accessed 2013.

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