Herpangina is a viral infection of the back of the mouth.
The main symptoms include:
Herpangina is caused by several Coxsackie A viruses. A person can have herpangina up to 5 times.
The sore throat and ulcers usually last 5 to 7 days.
Children over age 1 can sip warm chicken broth or apple juice. Children over age 4 can suck on hard candy (butterscotch seems to be a soothing flavor) or lollipops. Children over age 6 can gargle with warm water containing a little table salt or antacid solution.
Offer a soft, bland diet to reduce the pain. Cold drinks and milkshakes are especially good. Do not give your child salty foods, citrus fruits, or foods that need much chewing. Encourage your 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.
Give your child acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) for the sore throat or for a fever over 102°F (39°C).
Avoid expensive throat sprays or throat lozenges. Not only are they no more effective than hard candy, but many also contain an ingredient (benzocaine) that may cause an allergic reaction.
Antibiotics will not help a viral infection.
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