Enterovirus Child



Enteroviruses are most often passed between people. They may be passed through:

  • The air after an infected person coughs or sneezes
  • Contact with infected stool (poop)
  • Drinking infected water
  • Touching infected surfaces

An infant can also be exposed during birth if the mother has an infection.

Risk Factors

Not everyone who comes in contact with the virus will develop an illness.

Infants have a higher risk of illness because their immune system has not fully formed.

Kids and teens have a higher risk of illness due to:

  • Higher rate of contact with virus in public settings like schools or daycare
  • Poor use of hygiene, such as handwashing
  • Less chance of previous contact with the virus—this means their immune system will not react as fast

People who have suppressed immune systems are also more likely to have an illness.



Most people who have an infection do not get ill. People who do get ill may have:

  • Fever
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle aches
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Rash—may appear as red spots or blisters on the hands, soles of the feet, and inside the cheeks of the mouth

A person with severe symptoms may have:

  • High fever
  • Headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Redness, irritation, or bleeding on the outside of the eye
  • Chest pain
  • Breathing problems

A baby or young child with enterovirus may be:

  • Irritable
  • Lethargic
  • Not eating or drinking
  • Dehydrated
    • Not urinate (peeing) often
    • Have urine that is dark yellow
    • Sunken eyes
    • Dry tongue
    • A few or no tears when crying
  • Sensitive to light


The doctor will ask about the child’s symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. The doctor may suspect an enterovirus infection during the physical exam.

If the illness is severe or does not pass as expected, tests may be done to look for the specific virus. The virus can be found through:

  • Blood tests
  • Urine tests
  • Throat culture
  • Stool sample
  • Lumbar puncture—to test the fluid around the brain and spinal cord



There is no cure for an enterovirus infection. The goal of treatment is to help ease symptoms until the infection passes.

Antibiotics are not given for these infections because they are caused by viruses. Antibiotics can only help infections caused by bacteria.

Note: Do not give aspirin or products with aspirin in them to a child who has an infection. It may cause serious problems.

Infants and younger children may need to be watched closely.

Sometimes people who have a severe infection need to be in the hospital. There they may get help with breathing and be closely watched.


To help reduce a child’s chance of getting any respiratory infection:

  • Ask children to wash their hands often. This is especially key after using the bathroom or coming in contact with someone who has an infection.
  • Ask children not to share cups, glasses, plates, or silverware.
  • Clean and disinfect commonly used surfaces like countertops or doorknobs.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.