Skip to main content
Go to homepage

Print Page

A to Z: Enterovirus

Enteroviruses (en-ter-oh-VY-rus-sez) are a common cause of infection in people of all ages, with symptoms that can range from mild to serious. Most enterovirus infections happen in the summer and fall. Most infections do not cause serious harm and go away in just a few days.

More to Know

There are many kinds of enteroviruses, including coxsackieviruses, echoviruses, polioviruses, the hepatitis A virus, and others. These common viruses infect millions of Americans every year. They can infect anyone, but are more likely to cause illnesses in infants, children, and teens who haven't developed immunity against the virus yet (from not being previously exposed to it), and people with weak immune systems.

Most people who get infected with an enterovirus don't get sick. When someone does get sick, symptoms include:

  • fever
  • runny nose
  • sneezing
  • cough
  • breathing difficulty
  • muscle aches

Less often, enteroviruses can cause:

Enteroviruses spread easily from person to person, usually on unwashed hands and surfaces contaminated by feces (poop), where they can live for several days.

There is no specific treatment for enterovirus infection other than relieving symptoms until the infection has run its course, which is usually not more than a few days.

Keep in Mind

Although enteroviruses can cause serious illness, enterovirus infections usually are mild. Most cause no symptoms at all. If symptoms are severe or last more than a few days, call a doctor right away.

Many enterovirus infections can be prevented by washing hands well and often, avoiding contact with sick people, and keeping household surfaces clean and disinfected.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.

What next?

Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
There are 10 nurses in the picture.

And we have many more pediatric primary care providers in Northeast Ohio. You can meet some of them here.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The five differences are:
– Phone color
– Coat pocket
– Stethoscope earpiece color
– Stethoscope bell dot
– Clipboard paper color

Need help finding a doctor, choosing a location or getting a general question about Akron Children's answered? Call us or fill out the form and we'll help in any way we can.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The two matching doctors are 9 and 14.

With virtual visits, you can see our pediatric experts from the comfort of home or wherever you are.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The correct path:
The Correct Path
We offer many ways to get pediatric care all over Northeast Ohio. Use this page to find the right kind of care and the most convenient location for you.