Herpangina (her-pan-JY-nuh) is an infection of the mouth and throat that typically causes red-tinged blisters and ulcers on the tonsils and soft palate, which is the fleshy back portion of the roof of the mouth.
Herpangina infections are usually caused by coxsackieviruses. Although most common in children ages 3-10, anyone can get a herpangina infection.
Coxsackieviruses are highly contagious, and epidemics are most common in the spring and early fall. In addition to mouth ulcers and blisters, herpangina can cause fever, headache, sore throat, loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting. Herpangina can also lead to dehydration if an infected person is not drinking enough.
Typically, fever associated with herpangina will resolve itself within 2-4 days. Ulcers may last up to a week, but most kids with a simple infection recover completely after a few days without needing any treatment.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.
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