Enteroviruses 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.
There are many kinds of enteroviruses, including coxsackieviruses, echoviruses, polioviruses, and the hepatitis A virus. They can infect anyone, but are more likely to cause illnesses in people with weak immune systems, as well as infants, children, and teens who don't have immunity against a virus yet because it’s their first exposure to it.
Infants, children, and teenagers are more likely than adults to get infected and become sick because they do not yet have immunity (protection) from previous exposures to viruses. Adults can get infected too, but they are less likely to have symptoms, or their symptoms may be milder.
Many people who get infected with non-polio enteroviruses do not have symptoms but can still spread the virus to other people. This makes it is difficult to prevent them from spreading. The best way to help protect yourself and others from non-polio enterovirus infections is to
- wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after using the toilet or changing diapers
- avoid close contact, such as touching and shaking hands, with people who are sick
- clean and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces
Enteroviruses (non-polio) are not reportable diseases in Oklahoma.
There is no specific treatment for non-polio enterovirus infection. People with mild illness caused by non-polio enterovirus infection typically only need to treat their symptoms. This includes drinking enough water to stay hydrated and taking over-the-counter cold medications as needed. Most people recover completely. However, some illnesses caused by non-polio enteroviruses can be severe enough to require hospitalization.