Enterovirus infection is a separate group of diseases caused by enteroviruses. Typical symptoms: fever, skin and throat rash, vomiting, diarrhea. In severe forms, there are lesions of the muscular, central nervous system, heart, and other organs. Clinical signs depend on the intestinal virus strain. Enterovirus infection in children is dangerous complications.
Enterovirus (from the Greek. Enteron means “intestine”) refers to the genus of viruses that enter the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). Here the enterovirus actively reproduces and disrupts the digestive system. But the danger of this pathogen is that it can affect the central nervous system, tissues and organs (kidneys, heart, liver, lungs). There are many subspecies of enteroviruses, which are called serotypes. The most pathogenic of them are: Coxsackie A viruses (23 types), Coxsacke B (6 types), poliomyelitis viruses (3 types), enteroviruses 68–71 (4 types), echoviruses (31 type). Enteroviruses are incredibly resilient, resistant to the external environment. They can be in water and soil for a long time – up to several months. They can live in the refrigerator for weeks, and stored frozen for several years. They are not afraid of the acidic environment of the gastric juice, they are not always killed by detergents and alcohol. What are enteroviruses afraid of? Temperatures above 50 ° C, drying, disinfecting, ultraviolet radiation.
Ways of transmission
The enterovirus can live in the nasopharynx, in the mouth, on the mucous membrane of the eyes or in the intestines. The main routes of infection are fecal-oral, contact-household and airborne. It has a high degree of contagion. The incubation period can vary greatly – from several days to a month. The most common infection occurs in summer and autumn.
- Contact with the patient or carrier. The virus is transmitted not only through the mouth, nose, eyes, but also through dirty hands. If someone caught an enterovirus in the family, the likelihood of infecting other members is very high.
- Contact with infected objects. The virus is transmitted through common household items, dishes, toys.
- Infected products. Most often it is unwashed or poorly washed fresh vegetables and fruits.
- Contaminated water. The main route of transmission, as in the water enterovirus persists for a long time.
Carriers of the virus are often children. They are much more sick. This is due to an unstable immune system, non-compliance with the rules of personal hygiene. Enterovirus most often affects children under the age of ten. If a child has been infected before the age of two, it can lead to complications.
The main signs of the disease
What are the symptoms of enterovirus infection in children? The clinical picture, in the medical language, erased. When enterovirus infection there is a risk of damage to various organs, so the palette of symptoms can be diverse and nonspecific. In addition, there is another insidious feature of enteroviruses: similar symptoms may occur with different enterovirus serotypes, or, conversely, one subtype gives a different clinical picture. Symptoms may be similar to signs of ARVI, volatile viral infections, acute intestinal infections (AII). Enterovirus can be accurately diagnosed using a blood test.
- Temperature rise . At the onset of the disease is usually high, then decreases, after a few days, jumps again. This waviness is characteristic of enterovirus. There is such a term as enterovirus fever. It lasts for 3 days with slight discomfort. Vomiting and diarrhea are also possible, but it all ends as suddenly as it began.
- Symptoms similar to ARVI. A child may complain of sore throat and sore throat. Coughing and snot can also begin. Sometimes it is difficult to recognize the enterovirus immediately, because the disease at the initial stage is similar to SARS.
- Rash with enterovirus infection in children. It is called enteroviral exanthema. Rashes may appear 2-3 days after the temperature. Localized on the face, neck, arms, legs, chest, back. They have a characteristic appearance: red small dots on the skin, similar to rashes in measles and other volatile viral infections. Also, a rash may appear on the mucous – in the throat or in the mouth. It has the appearance of bubbles filled with liquid, which then turn into sores. An experienced doctor can determine the “handwriting” of an enterovirus infection by localizing the rash: in the throat (herpetic sore throat), simultaneously around the mouth, on the palms and feet.
- Muscle aches. More often hurt the muscles of the chest, abdomen, and less often – the legs, arms and back. Strengthened with movement, may be paroxysmal in nature, lasting from a few minutes to half an hour. If the disease is not treated, muscle pain can later become chronic.
- Vomiting and diarrhea. Common symptoms of enterovirus in children under two years of age. Enteroviral diarrhea may be accompanied by pain and bloating. Diarrhea lasts several days. It is important during this period to compensate for the loss of fluid and to prevent dehydration. For information on how oral rehydration therapy is conducted at home, read our other article.
- general malaise, loss of appetite;
- headache, dizziness;
- stomach ache;
- swelling of limbs;
- lethargy, drowsiness;
- tearing, redness of the eyes, conjunctivitis;
- swollen lymph nodes;
The dangers of a mild form of enterovirus infection
Recently, a blurred course of the disease is becoming increasingly common. A child may feel slight indisposition, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, slight temperature increase. Usually, all these symptoms are perceived as signs of a cold. If the baby has a weak immune system, enterovirus infection can develop further and give complications, chronic forms of the disease.
What is the treatment
Treatment of enterovirus infection in children is determined by the severity of the disease and the nature of the complications.
- Bed rest Shown to all children, in all forms of enterovirus.
- Antipyretic at temperature. Should always be in the home first aid kit.
- Restoration of water-salt balance with diarrhea and vomiting. It is necessary to feed the child as much as possible, give rehydration solutions, if there is abundant diarrhea and vomiting.
- Antiviral drugs. Most often this is a group of interferons. Dose and course prescribed by a doctor.
- Antibiotics. Appointed to children of any age, if there are complications of a bacterial nature, the chronic form of the disease, extensive foci of secondary infection.
Antiemetic, antidiarrheal, antispasmodic and analgesic drugs, if necessary, prescribe a doctor. If a child with an enterovirus infection had lesions of the nervous system, eyes, kidneys, liver, lungs, he was followed up by a doctor for a year or more.
What should be the food
Diet for children with enterovirus infection is important because the digestive tract is disturbed. Nutrition includes the following principles:
- drink plenty to remove toxins and prevent dehydration;
- defatted, boiled, stewed, baked in the oven, mashed, chopped food;
- the exclusion of spicy, fried, smoked, salty, sweet;
- elimination of whole milk, eggs, vegetable and butter;
- all carbonated drinks are contraindicated;
- Fresh dairy products (low-fat cottage cheese, biokefir) are permitted;
- vegetables and fruits are allowed only in cooked form;
- beans, nuts, broth, fresh bread should not be given;
- meals should be fractional, the frequency of meals increases up to 6 times;
- dishes are served in the form of heat;
- you can not force a child to eat and overfeed.
What can you eat with acute diarrhea?
- Hungry pause. It is useful to starve and skip one or two meals. Hungry pauses in infants are not allowed. The older the child, the greater the interval between meals.
- Strict diet . On the first day, water porridges, crackers, baked apples are allowed. In the following days you can enter fermented milk products, vegetable soups, mashed potatoes, boiled potatoes. Last but not least, low-fat meat and fish dishes (steam cutlets, meatballs, meatballs) are introduced.
What can you drink with acute diarrhea?
- compote of dried fruit (better from pears);
- chamomile decoction;
- dried berries jelly (preferably blueberries);
- weak green tea;
- raisin decoction;
- alkaline still water.
Drinking should be offered often, to give in fractional portions.
7 preventive measures
Prevention aims to neutralize enterovirus in the environment. What ways can this be done?
- Personal hygiene of the child. As soon as possible, you need to teach your baby to wash their hands before eating, after going to the toilet and walking. Wash your hands with soap and water for 15 seconds.
- Personal hygiene of adults in contact with the child. It seems to be a truism, but not always respected.
- High-quality drinking water. You can buy bottled water, install filters for cleaning. In extreme conditions – to give only boiled water.
- Purchase products in designated areas. That is, where sanitary standards are observed.
- Careful processing of fresh vegetables, fruits, berries. It is recommended not only to wash, but also to pour boiling water.
- Bathing in clean waters. Any open body of water (especially with stagnant water) can be a source of enterovirus infection. It is necessary to teach the child not to swallow the water while bathing.
- Vaccination against polio. It refers to specific measures for the prevention of poliomyelitis as a frequent complication of enterovirus infection. There is no vaccine against other strains of enterovirus. However, polio vaccine has been proven to protect against other serotypes of an enterovirus infection.
If sanitary and hygienic norms are not observed, the risk of infection with enterovirus infection in children increases significantly.
Enterovirus in children is dangerous complications. Therefore, it is important to seek medical help on time and to treat preventive measures with responsibility.