Coxsackie virus in adults - pathogen, incubation period, manifestations, diagnosis and how to treat

Sometimes, two to three weeks after the usual flu is transferred, the fingernail begins to break and peel off (see photo). This is a late symptom of Coxsackie virus in adults.

The virus "became famous" after outbreaks of enteroviral diseases recorded in the resorts of Turkey and other warm countries.

What is Coxsackie virus in adults

Coxsackie viruses (coxsackie) are one of the common causes of enterovirus or intestinal infections. 95% of people on Earth are infected with the virus. This happens more often in childhood, the most dangerous age is up to five years. In adults, Coxsackie virus is diagnosed less often than in children. However, the risk group includes elderly people, carriers of immunodeficiency states.

Samples of this picornavirus were isolated in 1948 by American scientists G. Dolldorf and G. Sickles in the small town of Coxsackie. They worked on a polio vaccine and found a similar virus in their feces.

To date, 30 coxovirus immunols have been found, which are divided into two subgroups: A (types A1 - A24) and B (types B1-B6).

Features of the Coxsackie virus

  • Koksaki Enterovirus is extremely contagious - in 98% of cases of contact with a sick person or a virus carrier, infection occurs.
  • Does not die after treatment with 70% alcohol, 5% lysol solution, antibiotics.
  • The virus frozen at a temperature of minus 70 degrees Celsius remains alive for several years.
  • Destroyed by formalin and chloramine.
  • At a temperature of +60, it lives for 20 minutes.
  • In feces, the virus is viable for six months.
  • Dies when boiled and is afraid of drying.
  • Antibodies to the virus are produced in breast milk, so babies can easily tolerate the disease.

Method for spreading the virus

Pathogens enter the environment (soil, water, air) with feces or sputum. Mechanical carriers are often cockroaches and flies. The virus enters the human body orally. Infection occurs through food or water. Airborne and contact paths are also common. Dangerous crowds - beaches, parks, shops, swimming pools, as well as collective institutions.

Sometimes the infection is transmitted from mother to fetus if the virus enters the mother's body in the third trimester of pregnancy.

Incubation period

The incubation period of the infection lasts 2-10 days, in rare cases, stretches to two to three weeks. It depends on the age and immunity of the infected person.

First, enterovirus infects the mucous membranes of the nasopharynx and stomach, penetrates the intestinal cells. Inside the lymph nodes, the virus multiplies, and then with a blood stream spreads to the organs and tissues of the body, forming inflammatory processes there. Already in the incubation period, the virus carrier is contagious.


The type of virus and the affected organ determine the type and symptoms of the disease. Often, Coxsackie infection is asymptomatic, or the manifestations are similar to signs of other infections. In the latter case, the diagnosis is often carried out incorrectly. In adults, Coxsackie’s disease is easier than in children, often without a characteristic skin rash (hand-foot-mouth syndrome, as in the photo).

Coxsackie virus in adults can cause the following diseases:

1. Enterovirus fever is the most common disease caused by a pathogen virus. Symptoms

  • heat;
  • abdominal pain;
  • vomiting, diarrhea, other stomach upsets;
  • aches in bones and joints;
  • muscle pain
  • redness of the palatine arches, pharynx, slight granularity on the posterior pharyngeal wall.

Summer flu lasts from two to five days, and then comes relief. Relapses sometimes occur.

2. Herpetic tonsillitis (herpangina) is characterized by a sharp increase in temperature; fever lasting two to three days; the occurrence of aphthae - vesicular rashes in the oral cavity, on the pharynx and tonsils (see photo).

3. Epidemic pleurodinia (myalgia).

This disease is not common. Symptoms:

  • sudden increase in temperature to 40 degrees;
  • headache, weakness;
  • bouts of acute muscle pain lasting 1-10 minutes;
  • pain between the ribs in the upper chest, accompanied by shortness of breath, respiratory failure;
  • pain in the navel, in the muscles of the neck, face, limbs.

Pleurodinia is an inflammation of the muscles resulting from a Coxsackie virus infection. This syndrome lasts from two to four days. Subsequently, relapse is possible.

4. Aseptic serous meningitis is caused by the defeat of the meningeal membranes of the brain by Koksaki enteroviruses. Inflammation of the brain is a serious disease that threatens a person’s life. Signs:

  • a sharp increase in temperature;
  • weakness, sore throat;
  • vomiting not related to eating;
  • severe persistent headaches;
  • impaired consciousness;
  • the inability to reach the sternum with the chin is stiff neck.

5. Aseptic myocarditis - damage to the heart muscle by a Coxsackie infection - is accompanied by fever, loss of consciousness, impaired heart rhythm, cyanosis of the nasolabial triangle, pain in the heart;

6. The polio-like course of enterovirus infection is a lesion of neurons in the spinal cord and medulla oblongata. Symptoms of the disease are similar to signs of a paralytic form of poliomyelitis:

  • acute onset;
  • lack of intoxication;
  • mild paralysis of limbs;
  • pain in the arms and legs;
  • decreased muscle tone;
  • periodic bouts of muscle tremors;
  • decreased tendon reflexes.

The polio-like course of Coxsackie infection is often confused with outbreaks of poliomyelitis.

The general symptomatology of complications -

Some Coxsackie syndromes cause serious complications.

  • Heart failure is a common consequence of aseptic myocarditis.
  • After enterovirus fever, nails often deteriorate and peel off.
  • Viral meningitis is dangerous for the development of encephalitis.
  • Hemorrhagic conjunctivitis can result in loss of vision.
  • Those who have had a Coxsackie infection sometimes develop hepatitis A and insulin-dependent diabetes.


The diagnosis of Coxsackie’s disease is based on the clinical picture of the disease and the analysis of epidemiological data. Patients take samples of the contents of the stomach, swabs and swabs from the nasopharynx, cerebrospinal fluid. Virological, immunological studies, monitoring the behavior of antibodies in the blood serum of the patient and the patient are carried out.


The drug against Coxsackie's disease does not exist. Special treatment is not required in the absence of complications. The sick person needs:

  • bed rest;
  • plentiful warm drink to prevent dehydration;
  • antihistamines, ointments for itching;
  • pain medication for headache or other pain;
  • means for lowering the temperature.

In severe forms, complex treatment of the Coxsackie virus in adults is indicated. It is necessary to carry out detoxification and anti-inflammatory therapy, to normalize the activity of affected organs.


  1. To relieve pain, lowering the temperature, doctors recommend Paracetamol or Ibuprofen.
  2. To increase immunity, Polyoxidonium is indicated.
  3. Sorbents, for example, Enterosgel, are used for detoxification.
  4. To relieve itching - Suprastin, Cetrin, Zodak.


With a mild form of the disease, no consequences are noted. But in order to avoid complications when infected with a Coxsackie infection, you need to see a doctor in time.

Do not be afraid of peeling nails. Over time, they will recover.


Koksaki Enterovirus disease prognosis is positive. The exception is severe forms of the disease. After recovery, immunity is developed.


To prevent infection, you need:

  1. observe the rules of personal hygiene;
  2. wash hands руки with soap before eating, when using the toilet, after walking;
  3. drink only boiled or bottled water;
  4. wash vegetables, fruits, berries thoroughly.

Attention! The information presented in the article is for guidance only. Materials of the article do not call for independent treatment. Only a qualified doctor can make a diagnosis and give recommendations for treatment based on the individual characteristics of a particular patient.

Watch the video: What is COXSACKIE B VIRUS? What does COXSACKIE B VIRUS mean? COXSACKIE B VIRUS meaning & explanation (February 2020).