What are enteroviruses?

Updated: Mar 01, 2018
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

The human enteroviruses are ubiquitous viruses that are transmitted from person to person via direct contact with virus shed from the gastrointestinal or upper respiratory tract. Poliovirus, the prototypical enterovirus, can cause a subclinical or mild illness, aseptic meningitis, or paralytic poliomyelitis. The nonpolio viruses (group A and B coxsackieviruses, echoviruses, enteroviruses) are responsible for a wide spectrum of diseases in persons of all ages, although infection and illness occur most commonly in infants.

For updated epidemiologic information on the 2014 enterovirus 68 outbreak, see Frequency.

See 11 Travel Diseases to Consider Before and After the Trip, a Critical Images slideshow, to help identify and manage several infectious travel diseases.


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