What are Enteroviruses?

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What are Enteroviruses? Blog Image


Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned against the rising incidence of enterovirus infections in a few countries across Europe.

About Enteroviruses:


  • Enteroviruses are a group of viruses that can cause various infectious illnesses and are responsible for annual epidemics.
  • There are many kinds of enteroviruses, including coxsackieviruses, echoviruses, polioviruses, and the hepatitis A virus. 
  • All enteroviruses are antigenically heterogeneous and have wide geographic distribution.
  • 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.
  • Illness is usually mild but has been found to affect neonates differently and sometimes more severely than older children and adults. 
  • Transmission: There are multiple transmission routes, particularly in the neonatal period, including intrapartum by exposure to maternal blood, secretions, and/or stool, or postnatally from close contacts with infected caregivers.
  • Symptoms:
    • Most people with an enterovirus infection don't get sick
    • For those who do, symptoms depend on the type of enterovirus and which part of the body it affects. 
    • Most often a child will simply have a fever or mild cold symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, coughing, or muscle aches.
  • Treatment
    • There is no specific treatment for enterovirus infection. 
    • The focus is on easing symptoms until the infection has run its course, which usually takes only a few days.


Q1) What is a Virus?

A virus is an infectious microbe consisting of a segment of nucleic acid (either DNA or RNA) surrounded by a protein coat. A virus cannot replicate alone; instead, it must infect cells and use components of the host cell to make copies of itself. Often, a virus ends up killing the host cell in the process, causing damage to the host organism. Well-known examples of viruses causing human disease include AIDS, COVID-19, measles and smallpox.

Source: Enterovirus infections: WHO warns against deaths in Europe; does India need to worry?