This is a "collective name" for 5 subgroups of a very large family of Picornaviruses (Pico, tiny size) (RNA Ribonucleic Acid, their internal genetic constitution) Polio, Coxsackie A and B viruses, Echovirus and their
viruses only number based (EV 68 - 78).

They account for millions of infections each year and have been recognised since antiquity (1500 BC), but most infections are sub clinical (without symptoms) and simply induce natural immunity.

As viruses, they are too small to replicate themselves and must enter a human cell, obliged to hand the job over to their human host.

For this, they target mainly cells within the respiratory and intestinal tracts of human hosts and have evolved over the centuries to persist in a form that does not usually threaten the host or virus.

Unfortunately, modern standards of culture (eg, sanitary habits and lack of breastfeeding) have almost destroyed this convenient alliance, so that, in modern times clinical disease has arisen due to social change rather than to any mutation of the viruses concerned.

Nowadays, enteroviruses are clinically associated with over 20 distinct syndromes.

These usually arise from spill over of infected blood from the intestinal tract or by direct access to the brain via the spinal nerve tracts.

These well recognised syndromes resulting from such "accidents" are characteristically inflammatory in nature and include: Polio, Polio Encephalitis, Myalgic Encephalitis (affecting the brain stem), Meningitis, Myocarditis, Pericarditis, and Degenerative Heart Muscle Disease, Pleurodynia (Bornholm Disease), Rashes on Skin or Mucous Membranes, Eye and Ear Infections, Vestibulitis (affecting balance), Gastroenteritis, Hepatitis, Pancreatitis, Juvenile Onset Diabetes, Urinary Tract Infections, Kidney Disease, Perinatal Enterovirus Disease and "cot death".

The profusion and complexity of enterovirus infections is discouraging to scholars and leads to much apathy within the medical profession and mistreatment.

They cling to a "psychological" explanation instead of questioning their local microbiology department!

NOTE: This information was gleaned from an unknown source - we apologise for this and if the origin can be traced we will gladly attribute this page to that source (our feeling is it was from Betty Dowsett).