Adenoviruses are a group of common viruses that infect the lining of your eyes, airways and lungs, intestines, urinary tract, and nervous system. They’re common causes of fever, coughs, sore throats, diarrhea, and pink eye (conjunctivitis).
Infections happen in children more often than in adults, but anyone can get them. Most kids will have at least one type of adenovirus infection by the time they’re 10.
The infections usually cause only mild symptoms and get better on their own in a few days. But they can be more serious in people with weak immune systems, especially children.
These viruses are common in places with large groups of kids, such as day care centers, schools, and summer camps.
They’re very contagious. They can spread when someone who’s infected coughs or sneezes. Droplets containing the virus fly into the air and land on surfaces.
Your child can catch the virus when they touch the hand of someone who has it or a toy or other object held by someone who has it and then touches their mouth, nose, or eyes. It spreads quickly with children because they’re more likely to put their hands on their face and in their mouths.
There are several different tyupes of adenovirus.
Each type of adenovirus can affect on person differently:
*Bronchitis: Cough, runny nose, fever, chills.
*Colds and other respiratory infections: Stuffy and runny nose, cough, sore throat, and swollen glands
*Croup: Barking cough, trouble breathing, high-pitched sound when breathing in
*Ear infection: Ear pain, irritability, fever
*Pink eye (conjunctivitis): Red eyes, discharge from your eyes, tearing, feeling like there’s something in your eye
*Pneumonia: Fever, cough, trouble breathing
*Stomach and intestinal infections: Diarrhea, vomiting, headache, fever, stomach cramps
*Swelling of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis and encephalitis): Headache, fever, stiff neck, nausea, and vomiting (this is rare)
*Urinary tract infections: Burning and pain while urinating, frequent need to go, blood in your urine
Adenoviruses are very contagious. They can spread when someone who’s infected coughs or sneezes. Droplets containing the virus fly into the air and land on surfaces.
One child can catch the virus when they touch the hand of someone who has it or a toy or other object held by someone who has it and then touches their mouth, nose, or eyes. It spreads quickly with children because they’re more likely to put their hands on their face and in their mouths.
The child can get infected at the time of changing a diaper. One also can get sick from eating food prepared by someone who didn’t wash their hands properly after going to the bathroom. It’s possible to catch the virus in water, like in small lakes or a swimming pool that isn’t well maintained, but this doesn’t happen often.
The child spacilist may want to do a physical exam and possibly one or more of these tests to see if a virus or bacteria caused the infection:
*Blood test: A nurse will take a sample of your child’s blood from a vein in their arm.
*Urine test: Your child will pee in a cup the nurse gives you.
*Swab test: A nurse will use a cotton swab to get a sample of mucus from your child’s nose.
*Stool test: You’ll collect a sample of your child’s poop at home and bring it to the doctor’s office.
*Chest X-ray: Your child will lie still while a technician uses a small amount of radiation to take pictures of the inside of their chest. This will give the child specialist a closer look at their heart and lungs.
Kids with a weak immune system may need treatment in the hospital to help them recover.
There are no proven antiviral drugs to treat adenoviral infections, so treatment is largely directed at the symptoms (such as acetaminophen for fever). The antiviral drug cidofovir has helped certain of those patients who had severe cases of illness; the number helped and to what degree, and the particular complications or symptoms it helped with, and when and where this happened, were not given in the source. A doctor may give antibiotic eyedrops for conjunctivitis, while awaiting results of bacterial cultures, and to help prevent secondary bacterial infections. Currently, there is no adenovirus vaccine available to the general public, but a vaccine is available for the United States military for Types 4 and 7.
To help keep the child from getting sick:
*Try to keep the child away from anyone you know is sick.
*Wash child’s hands — and yours — often during the day, and especially before meals. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if you don’t have soap and water nearby.
*Clean surfaces, like sinks and counters, to get rid of germs.
*Don’t let them swim in pools that aren’t well maintained.
*Keep the child at home when they’re sick to avoid spreading adenoviruses to others. Tell them to cover their nose and mouth whenever they sneeze or cough.
Currently, there is a vaccine for adenovirus type 4 and 7 for US military personnel only. US military personnel are the recipients of this vaccine because they may be at a higher risk of infection. The vaccine contains a live virus, which may be shed in stool and lead to transmission. The vaccine is not approved for use outside of the military, as it has not been tested in studied in the general population or on people with weakened immune systems.
In the past, US military recruits were vaccinated against two serotypes of adenovirus, with a corresponding decrease in illnesses caused by those serotypes. That vaccine is no longer manufactured. The U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command announced on 31 October 2011 that a new adenovirus vaccine, which replaces the older version that has been out of production for over a decade, was shipped to basic training sites on 18 October 2011. More information is available here.
Prevention of adenovirus, as well as other respiratory illnesses, involves frequent hand washing for more than 20 seconds, avoiding touching the eyes, face, and nose with unwashed hands, and avoiding close contact with people with symptomatic adenovirus infection. Those with symptomatic adenovirus infection are additionally advised to cough or sneeze into the arm or elbow instead of the hand, to avoid sharing cups and eating utensils, and to refrain from kissing others. Chlorination of swimming pools can prevent outbreaks of conjunctivitis caused by adenovirus.
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.