Enteroviruses

Black mother consoling her daughter who is blowing a nose.

Most people who get infected with non-polio enteroviruses do not get sick, or they only have mild illness, like the common cold. Symptoms of mild illness can include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, skin rash, mouth blisters, and body and muscle aches.

Three better-known non-polio enteroviruses are enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), enterovirus A71 (EV-A71), and coxsackie virus A6 (CV-A6). EV-D68 usually causes respiratory illness. EV-A71and CV-A6 are known to cause hand, foot, and mouth disease.

Infections with non-polio enteroviruses are common in the United States during summer and fall. A mix of enteroviruses circulates every year, and different types can be common in different years.

Quiz

Key Facts

  • Mild symptoms of enterovirus infection may include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, skin rash, mouth blisters, and body and muscle aches.
  • Although rare, enteroviruses can sometimes cause more serious illness, like viral meningitis (infection of the covering of the spinal cord and brain) or acute flaccid myelitis (sudden onset of weakness in one or more arms or legs)
  • Children with asthma are particularly at risk for severe symptoms from EV-D68 infection.
  • There is no specific treatment for enterovirus infections, but most people recover completely.
  • Important things you can do to stay healthy and protect others include washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, staying home when you’re sick, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.

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Hands being washed
Protect Your Family

Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. Also, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or shirt sleeve, not your hands. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.

Boy using inhaler
Children with Asthma

Children with asthma are particularly at risk for severe symptoms from certain types of enterovirus infection, like EV-D68. Discuss and update your child’s asthma action plan with their doctor.

Mother Caring For Sick Daughter Ill In Bed Taking Temperature
Treating Enteroviruses

There is no treatment for enterovirus infections, but most people recover completely. People with mild illness caused by non-polio enterovirus infection typically only need to treat their symptoms. Talk to your doctor about the best way to control symptoms.

Baby having heart checked
Enteroviruses in the United States

In the United States, people can get infected with non-polio enteroviruses at any time of the year. However, non-polio enterovirus infections are more common in the summer and fall.

Prevention Tips

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact, such as kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils, with people who are sick.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or shirt sleeve, not your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys, doorknobs, and cell phones, especially if someone is sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick and keep sick children out of school.
Page last reviewed: August 22, 2022