In a joint announcement of the Medical Association of Larissa and the Association of Freelance Pediatricians of Larissa, the following are highlighted:
“From time to time there is an outbreak of Coxsackie virus cases in preschool children, causing many parents to worry, as has been happening recently in our area, according to reports we receive from pediatric clinics. An outbreak is defined as the occurrence of 3 or more cases within 1 week in the same structure (nursery-daycare center, school).
The Coxsackie virus belongs to the enteroviruses and is divided into two types, A and B. The cases that have been observed in Greece are mainly due to type A, which causes a mild form of the virus and is not dangerous. However, monitoring and communication with the attending Pediatrician is necessary for its treatment.
The incubation period of the virus is 3-6 days. Its transmissibility is extremely high for 7 days after the first symptoms appear. In fact, its transmission is rapid in nurseries, kindergartens and schools, most often in children under the age of 5. It is transmitted by direct contact with oral fluids, such as e.g. with sneezing and coughing. It is excreted in the feces of sick children and can survive for a long time on objects.
It usually appears with the following symptoms:
- Pharyngalgia (sore throat)
- Runny nose
- Mouth ulcers
- Blisters on palms, soles, mouth and buttocks (hand-foot-mouth disease)
- Anxiety, tiredness or even confusion in the child
Rarely occurs type B, which is also the most dangerous and causes severe respiratory infections, myocarditis, encephalitis, aseptic meningitis, etc.
There is no vaccine for this disease, only supportive measures. The disease subsides completely in about 7-10 days. Children should not go to school while they are sick, because there is a risk of spreading the virus.
The virus cannot be easily prevented. Adherence to hygiene rules helps a lot:
- Regular and thorough hand washing, after using the toilet and before eating.
- We don’t touch our eyes and nose.
- We do not share food and water or juices with other children at school.
- We also pay particular attention to changing diapers, since the virus is excreted in the feces.
- Frequent cleaning and disinfection of objects and surfaces that children come into contact with, such as toys, pacifiers or other objects they put in their mouths.
Finally, pregnant and immunosuppressed people must avoid contact with a patient who manifests a disease.”
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