What Are Enteroviruses? Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention

The common cold or other diseases can develop due to a group of viruses known as Enteroviruses. This group of viruses is primarily responsible for the common cold and flu. However, it has been noticed that young children and individuals who have poor immunity can suffer from serious illnesses due to Enteroviruses.

Classifications of Enteroviruses

Scientists have categorized Enteroviruses into four types, and these are

  • polioviruses

  • coxsackievirus A

  • coxsackievirus B

  • echoviruses

Symptoms of Enteroviruses

It has been noticed that individuals normally don't find any symptoms while suffering from Enteroviruses. Sometimes, they can suffer from mild illnesses like normal colds & flu.

Individuals can suffer other symptoms of fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, skin rash, sore throat, and mouth blisters. Besides, people can also suffer from other problems like viral conjunctivitis, mouth disease, meningitis, myocarditis, pericarditis, sudden weakness in the legs or arms, and muscle inflammation.

Probable Causes of Suffering from Enteroviruses

Adults or young children normally suffer Enteroviruses from the droplets floating in the air. Droplets mainly start floating when a person sneezes or coughs. A child can get infected through these droplets once they touch their eyes, nose, or mouth.

Sometimes these viruses can also spread from the infected stool. Many children need to wash their hands properly after using the toilets. Water can also get contaminated with this virus, and individuals can suffer from Enteroviruses.

How to Diagnose Enteroviruses?

Diagnosing Enteroviruses is a challenging task. In general, it cannot easily detect this virus's spread unless it reaches a deadly situation. Doctors can catch this virus depending on the severity of the health condition. Complications can arise with prolonged infections, and healthcare providers need to make necessary investigations for further treatment.

Doctors will recommend specific lab tests on a person's nose and throat specimen. Sometimes, some special tests like MRIs, blood tests, and spinal fluid tests are also recommended by doctors.

Once these Enteroviruses reach the acute phase, they disappear entirely from the cerebrospinal fluid and blood. However, these viruses can be present in several tissues and organs. Once these viruses reach this level, diagnosing the infections without a biopsy becomes difficult. Doctors typically collect samples from blood, rectal swabs, throat swabs, and stool.

Doctors will confirm whether a person is suffering from Enteroviruses or not by conducting the following tests −

  • PCR or polymerase chain reaction.

  • Another test is conducted where the virus in the cell culture is isolated, and PCR testing is done to identify the presence of the virus.

  • Doctors also suggest Chest radiography for those patients who have suffered from myopericarditis. Chest radiography will help to identify the presence of infection in the abdominal muscles or chest.

  • Another test to diagnose the presence of pericardial effusion is echocardiography. This test reveals the severity of the infection.

Treatment Options

In general, the presence of Enteroviruses is not identifiable, and no particular treatment is available for this non-polio virus contamination. Doctors typically suggest some remedial measures to help patients get relief from this infection.

The infection can heal quickly by drinking enough water and over-the-counter medications. However, in case of severity, doctors may recommend hospitalization to lower further complications.

How can you Lower the Chances of Spreading Enteroviruses?

Individuals are often unaware of the causes of spreading Enteroviruses; hence, they also need help understanding how to lower the chances of spreading this virus.

  • All should pay attention to washing hands properly every time before you eat.

  • Doctors also suggest not to touch eyes, nose, or mouth without washing your hands.

  • It would help if you did not hug or kiss any person already infected by this group of viruses. No one should share food with a sick person.

  • If anyone is sick in your house, you should disinfect the surface, and door knobs, daily.


Individuals suffer from Enteroviruses in different ways. Doctors suggest medications and treatments depending on the severity of the infections. Sometimes people need to get hospitalized if the infection is severe. One can also suffer from dehydration in case of minor illnesses like regular flu or sore throat. Enteroviruses can also develop eruptions on the skin, and these can cause skin infections if not treated.

Respiratory problems are another major health problem that individuals can suffer due to Enteroviruses. If this problem is not treated correctly, it can cause paralysis. It can be life-threatening also. Many types of research have also revealed that Enteroviruses can develop type 1 diabetes among children.


Almost 10 to 15 million people suffer from Enteroviruses, and huge hospitalizations can also be noticed. Hence it is suggested to consult with doctors whenever anyone starts suffering from the common flu or cold.

Updated on: 28-Apr-2023


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