Enteroviruses are amongst the most commonly found and most important viral pathogens of humans. They can cause a variety of illnesses, the most common being fever with or without a rash and aseptic meningitis. While many enterovirus infections result in only mild illness, members of this group of virus can cause many different diseases affecting a variety of target organs. Spread of the virus is primarily via the oral-faecal route, and perhaps with some respiratory involvement. There is no specific treatment for enterovirus infections. Incubation period is from 3 to 5 days. Many of those infected are either without or with only mild clinical symptoms. Many recover without treatment in a few days. Typical symptoms are: blisters on the oral cavity, palms and soles, ulcers, and fever. The process lasts for seven to ten days. A few may develop complications such as aseptic meningitis, encephalitis, myocarditis, pericarditis, pneumonia, and paralysis. Some of the newborns and infants may occasionally develop electric and viral shock syndrome to invade various organs. Fatality is high.


Contrary to the name enterovirus, enteric disease is not the most important manifestation. In addition to the known and documented enteroviral infections, these viruses have also been implicated in (but definitive proof is lacking) several chronic diseases, some of which are: juvenile onset of diabetes mellitus, chronic fatigue syndrome, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's Disease).

In young infants, enteroviral meningitis is often confused with infections caused by bacteria and herpesvirus, resulting in thousands of children being hospitalized and incorrectly treated with antibiotics and anti-herpes drugs.


Enteroviruses are universally present all around the world and humans are their only known natural host. They are more active in summer and early autumn. The modes of infection are by direct contact with oral or nasal secretions of infected persons, faeces and droplets. Children under 10 are more likely to be infected though occasionally there are cases of adults. Infection is more likely in overcrowded places.

(E) Emanations of other problems