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Non-polio enteroviruses can be found in an infected person’s

  • feces (stool)
  • eye, nose, and mouth secretions (such as saliva, nasal mucus, or sputum)
  • blister fluid

You can get exposed to the virus by—

  • having close contact, such as touching or shaking hands, with an infected person
  • touching objects or surfaces that have the virus on them, then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth before washing your hands
  • changing diapers of an infected person, then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth before washing your hands
  • drinking water that has the virus in it

Pregnant women who are infected with a non-polio enterovirus shortly before delivery can pass the virus to their babies. For more information, see Pregnancy & Non-Polio Enterovirus Infection.

Mothers who are breastfeeding should talk with their doctor if they are sick or think they may have an infection.

If you have a non-polio enteroviruses infection, you can shed (pass from your body into the environment) the virus in your stool for several weeks or longer after you have been infected. You can shed the virus from your respiratory tract, such as through coughing or sneezing, for 1 to 3 weeks or less. Infected people can shed the virus even if they don’t have symptoms.

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