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Picornavirus-Overview Follow-up

  • Author: Larry I Lutwick, MD; Chief Editor: Mark R Wallace, MD, FACP, FIDSA  more...
Updated: Dec 17, 2014


See the list below:

  • The importance of proper hand hygiene, cough etiquette, and safe food/beverage choices (particularly during travel) cannot be emphasized enough and are the keys to interrupting picornavirus disease transmission.
  • The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, under the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, regularly updates immunization recommendations for children, adolescents, and adults in the United States.
  • Poliomyelitis vaccine recommendations are as follows:
    • The current recommendation for IPV is 4 doses, at ages 2 months, 4 months, 6-18 months, and 4-6 years. The efficacy of IPV after only 1-2 doses is lower than the equivalent number of OPV doses.
    • Outside the United States, OPV is given in 4 doses, at ages 2 months, 4 months, 6-18 months, and 4-6 years. The main disadvantage of OPV is the very rare occurrence of vaccine virus-associated poliomyelitis (ie, 8 cases annually in the United States). The mechanism by which vaccine virus strains cause paralytic disease is not fully understood.
    • OPV is not recommended for use in the Unites States except for certain circumstances, as follows:
      • Rapid control of an outbreak
      • IPV is unavailable
      • Children of parents who do not accept the recommended number of vaccine injections
      • Unvaccinated children traveling within 4 weeks to endemic areas
  • HAV vaccine is recommended for the following:
    • All children aged 12 months and older
    • Populations at increased risk of infection
    • Persons traveling to endemic countries
    • Men who have sex with men
    • Users of illegal drugs
    • Patients with chronic liver disease or clotting factor deficiencies
    • People who may have occupational risk for exposure, including sewage workers, plumbers, primate handlers, medical and nursing staff, and daycare staff
  • Populations recommended to receive HAV immunoglobulin after exposure or as an alternative for HAV immunization include the following:
    • Patients exposed to HAV in the past 14 days who may be susceptible to the disease
    • Household and sexual contacts of known cases
    • Staff and attendees of daycare centers or homes after 1 or more cases occur in children and employees or 2 or more cases occur in the household of attendees
    • Fellow food handlers
    • Those at risk who work in schools and hospitals or other work settings
    • Patients in outbreak situations with suspected exposure
    • Children younger than 2 years


See the list below:

  • Hepatitis A virus[24]
    • Cholestasis
    • Relapsing disease
    • Fulminant hepatitis, particularly in patients with underlying liver disease or chronic viral hepatitis
    • Chronic, active autoimmune hepatitis
  • Enteroviruses[27]
    • Respiratory compromise is caused by paralysis of the respiratory muscles, by airway obstruction due to involvement of cranial nerve nuclei, or by respiratory center lesions.
    • Postpolio syndrome (newly onset weakness, fatigue, breathing or sleeping difficulty, myalgias and/or arthralgias) may affect poliomyelitis survivors months to years after recovery.
    • Gastrointestinal events (eg, hemorrhage, paralytic ileus, gastric dilatation) may complicate acute paralysis.
    • Chronic nonischemic cardiomyopathy and pneumonitis has been associated with coxsackieviruses.[22]
    • Fatal encephalitis has been observed in enterovirus 71 infections.[30, 19]
    • Echovirus and parechovirus infections in children treated with aspirin may lead to Reye syndrome.[35]
    • A connection between pancreatitis and diabetes mellitus type 1 is still being sought.[39, 40]
  • Rhinoviruses[14, 32] , enteroviruses


See the list below:

  • Postpolio syndrome is generally not life-threatening unless it involves respiratory or airway muscles.

Patient Education

See the list below:

  • For excellent patient education resources, visit eMedicineHealth's Cold and Flu Center. Also, see eMedicineHealth's patient education article Colds.
Contributor Information and Disclosures

Larry I Lutwick, MD Professor of Medicine, State University of New York Downstate Medical School; Director, Infectious Diseases, Veterans Affairs New York Harbor Health Care System, Brooklyn Campus

Larry I Lutwick, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Physicians, Infectious Diseases Society of America

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Received salary from Medscape for employment. for: Medscape.

Charles V Sanders, MD Edgar Hull Professor and Chairman, Department of Internal Medicine, Professor of Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology, Louisiana State University School of Medicine at New Orleans; Medical Director, Medicine Hospital Center, Charity Hospital and Medical Center of Louisiana at New Orleans; Consulting Staff, Ochsner Medical Center

Charles V Sanders, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Physicians, Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics, The Foundation for AIDS Research, Southern Society for Clinical Investigation, Southwestern Association of Clinical Microbiology, Association of Professors of Medicine, Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, American Clinical and Climatological Association, Infectious Disease Society for Obstetrics and Gynecology, Orleans Parish Medical Society, Southeastern Clinical Club, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Alpha Omega Alpha, American Association of University Professors, American Association for Physician Leadership, American Federation for Medical Research, American Geriatrics Society, American Lung Association, American Medical Association, American Society for Microbiology, American Thoracic Society, American Venereal Disease Association, Association of American Medical Colleges, Association of American Physicians, Infectious Diseases Society of America, Louisiana State Medical Society, Royal Society of Medicine, Sigma Xi, Society of General Internal Medicine, Southern Medical Association

Disclosure: Received royalty from Baxter International for other.

Chief Editor

Mark R Wallace, MD, FACP, FIDSA Clinical Professor of Medicine, Florida State University College of Medicine; Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of Central Florida College of Medicine

Mark R Wallace, MD, FACP, FIDSA is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Physicians, American Medical Association, American Society for Microbiology, Infectious Diseases Society of America, International AIDS Society, Florida Infectious Diseases Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

John M Leedom, MD Professor Emeritus of Medicine, Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California

John M Leedom, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine, American Society for Microbiology, Infectious Diseases Society of America, International AIDS Society, Phi Beta Kappa

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Yana Bron, MD Consulting Staff, Department of Pediatrics, Linden Children Services Inc

Yana Bron, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Informatics Association, and Phi Beta Kappa

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Robert L Holmes, DO Major, Medical Corps, US Air Force, Medical Director of Infectious Diseases, Chair, Infection Control Review Function, Associate Program Director, Internal Medicine Residency Training Program, Keesler Medical Center

Robert L Holmes, DO is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Physician Executives, American Osteopathic Association, American Society for Microbiology, American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, and Infectious Diseases Society of America

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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