Outbreak of variant hand-foot-and-mouth disease caused by coxsackievirus A6 in Auckland, New Zealand

Authors

  • Rebecca Hayman,

    1. Children's Emergency Department, Starship Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand
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  • Michael Shepherd,

    1. Children's Emergency Department, Starship Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand
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  • Claire Tarring,

    1. Auckland District Health Board Laboratory, Auckland City Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand
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  • Emma Best

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Paediatrics, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
    2. Department of Infectious Disease, Auckland District Health Board, Starship Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand
    • Correspondence: Dr Emma Best, Department of Paediatrics: Child and Youth Health, Faculty of Medical & Health Sciences, University of Auckland, PO Box 92019, Auckland 1142, New Zealand. Fax: + 64 9 3078977; email: e.best@auckland.ac.nz

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  • Conflict of interest: The authors have no conflicts of interests to declare.

Abstract

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is a common, usually mild childhood illness caused by enteroviruses. Over the last five years, coxsackievirus A6 has been identified as a causative agent in outbreaks in Europe, South-East Asia and America. It has an atypical presentation compared with other enteroviruses, with more widespread rash, larger blisters and subsequent skin peeling and/or nail shedding. We give the first description of an outbreak of coxsackievirus A6 in New Zealand and how health-care communication networks enabled detection of and dissemination of information about this emergent strain.

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