Humans are certainly not the only creature living on this earth. The many small organisms that cannot be seen with the naked eyes can potentially pose danger to humans. Infections that are caused by these microorganisms certainly can deteriorate a person’s health. If you ask a doctor, infections such as herpangina may seem uncommon to be found and you yourself probably heard it for the first time. In this article, we will be learning more about herpangina and the fastest way to cure it.
Herpangina is an infection that is caused by a virus. It is typically characterised by small blisters or ulcers in the mouth. The virus responsible for herpangina are known as coxsackieviruses but occasionally can be caused by other enteroviruses. The virus usually spreads through respiratory droplets, saliva or directly touching fluid from sores. The virus also managed to spread by touching stool. Herpangina is one of the highly contagious diseases due to the nature of the way it spreads easily. Herpangina has been reported worldwide with the usual occurrence during the rainy seasons in countries with tropical climates.
Herpangina commonly affects children more than adults. Typically, herpangina can be seen affecting children younger than 10 years old. Herpangina at a glance may seem similar to another condition known as hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) which is also caused by enteroviruses. Herpangina easily affects children as their immune system is not as established as adults do. This translates to adults rarely experiencing herpangina due to the established immune body system producing already built antibodies to go against the virus. HFMD and herpangina may seem the same due to the presence of oral blisters or ulcers but the locations of sores are different.
First symptoms of herpangina that can be noticed quickly are the ulcers or blisters in the mouth, typically at the back of the throat and roof of the mouth. Common symptoms such as sudden high fever, headache, sore throat, loss of appetite, neck pain, back pain and drooling are common in children with herpangina. In some cases, the child could experience abdominal pain, vomiting, dehydration and seizures. Herpangina can become so severe that it can cause breathing difficulty, confusion and muscle weakness. Symptoms usually can be seen around 2 to 5 days after exposure to the virus.
Parents need to take things seriously if their child already shows symptoms suspected of herpangina. Even though herpangina typically does not cause severe disease, the symptoms it causes can definitely lead to other serious health problems such as dehydration and seizures triggered by fever. Herpangina may seem harmless to most children but can lead to life-threatening event in children with compromised immune systems such as children with encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), meningitis (inflammation of the protective membrane covering brain and spinal cord) and myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle).
Since children with herpangina will often be irritable or at discomfort and cause worries to parents, treating the children can definitely help improve the child’s wellbeing and provide a sense of relief. Unfortunately, there is no cure for herpangina. There are no antiviral medications available to completely eliminate the viruses triggering herpangina such as antibiotics for bacterial infections. Parents will wonder what they can do to help their child recover quickly.
The fastest way to treat herpangina is to ensure the child is getting all the support they need to improve their immune system. Herpangina does go away on its own for at least a week after symptoms are experienced. This is because the human’s immune system is able to fight the virus and tackle the disease. Giving pain-relief medication and fever relief such as acetaminophen can greatly reduce pain and fever. Topical anaesthetic such as gel or cream is typically prescribed by doctors to help treat sores. Mouth sprays or mouth rinse may relieve sore pain. Throat lozenges may be given to children that are able to use it without choking. Saltwater rinse can be an option to improve the sores. All the remedies mentioned just now can help the child to feel better and when they feel better, their immune system is able to work properly. Do ask the pharmacist or doctor if any of the treatment mentioned is unclear.
Although it is true that the fastest way to treat herpangina is to provide medical treatment that supports the immune system, parents need to take the extra step of making sure their child is drinking plenty of plain water. The child needs to avoid food that can aggravate the sore such as hot, fried, spicy, salted, sour and citrusy taste food. Parents can try to give their child soothing food such as bananas. they should get medical advice urgently. Last but not least, parents need to isolate their child that has just been diagnosed with herpangina, especially when they are still sick and have symptoms. This can prevent further infections from spreading to others.