What is herpangina?
Herpangina is a kind of viral infection that occurs in the back of the mouth.
What is the cause of herpangina?
Herpangina is caused by several Coxsackie A viruses. A person can have herpangina up to 5 times.
How long does herpangina last?
The sore throat and ulcers usually last for about 5 to 7 days.
How can someone take care of his child from herpangina?
- Throat pain relief - Children over age of 1 can sip warm chicken broth or apple juice. Children over age of 4 can suck on hard candy (butterscotch seems to be a soothing flavor) or lollipops. Children over age of 6 can gargle with warm water containing a little table salt or antacid solution.
- Diet - Offer a soft, bland diet to reduce the pain of the patient. Cold drinks and milkshakes are especially good in this condition. Do not give your child salty foods, citrus fruits, or foods that need much chewing. One should encourage his child to drink favorite fluids to prevent dehydration. For very young children, give fluids by cup rather than from a bottle because the nipple can increase the pain.
- Fever and pain relief - You can surely give your child acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) in case of a sore throat or for a fever over 102°F (39°C).
- Common mistakes to avoid - Try to avoid expensive throat sprays or throat lozenges. Not only are they no more effective than hard candy, but many also containing an ingredient (benzocaine) that may cause an allergic reaction.
Antibiotics will not help a viral infection.
When should someone call his child's doctor in case of herpangina?
Call during office hours if:
- The pain becomes severe.
- Your child can't drink enough fluids.
- The ulcers last longer than 10 days.
- Your child develops a fever higher than 102 that lasts for more than 3 days.
- You feel your child is getting worse.
Some of the main symptoms of the herpangina include:
- Sore throat and pain with swallowing
- Fever for 2 to 3 days
- Small ulcers (2 to 3 mm) that will be surrounded by a red ring on the roof of the mouth and near the tonsils. There are no ulcers in the front of the mouth or on the gums. The average child has 5 of these ulcers, though there can be more.