Adenovirus Infection - Causes and Symptoms
Adenoviruses are are DNA viruses (small infectious agents) that cause upper respiratory tract infections such as a common cold, conjunctivitis (an infection in the eye), croup, bronchitis, bronchiolitis (inflammation of the lower airways), or pneumonia.
Adenoviruses are responsible for about 3-5% of acute respiratory infections in children and 2% of respiratory illnesses in civilian adults. They are very common among military recruits and other young people who live in institutional environments. Outbreaks among children are frequently reported at boarding schools and summer camps. Adenoviruses can also cause infections in the urinary tract or intestinal tract. In children, adenoviruses usually cause infections in the respiratory tract and intestinal tract.
Causes of Adenovirus Infection
Anyone can get adenoviral infections, from newborns to the elderly - but, are more common among children of ages 6 months and 2 years. Children in day care are most likely to get repeated adenoviral infections.
Adenovirus can spread via direct contact, airborne transmission , fecal-oral transmission, and occasionally waterborne transmission. Because the virus is stable in the environment, fomites are a common cause of spread. Spread has been documented from contaminated swimming pools and towels. Some types of adenoviruses are capable of establishing persistent asymptomatic infections in the tonsils , adenoids , and intestines. Shedding of the virus can occur for months or years after the initial infection.
Symptoms of Adenovirus Infection
Outbreaks of adenovirus-associated respiratory disease have been more common in the late winter, spring, and early summer. However, adenovirus infections can occur throughout the year.
Children who have normal immune systems usually experience only very minor symptoms when infected with adenovirus. The course of infection tends to be more serious in children who are immunocompromised, such as those undergoing chemotherapy or those who have a disease that disrupts normal immune response (e.g. human immunodeficiency syndrome [HIV]). In such children, the virus more often affects organs such as the lungs, liver, and kidneys, and the risk of fatality increases.
Other Symptoms associated with adenovirus infections may be:
Treatment of Adenovirus Infection
Most infections are mild and require no therapy or only symptomatic treatment. Supportive treatment includes bed rest, antipyretics, and analgesics. Ocular infections may require corticosteroids and direct supervision by an ophthalmologist. Because there is no virus-specific therapy, serious adenovirus illness can be managed only by treating symptoms and complications of the infection. In a very few cases, hospitalization may be required - like in case of pneumonia (in infants) to prevent death and in epidemic keratoconjunctivitis (EKe) to prevent blindness.
Some other Treatment options which may make healing fast are:
Preventing Adenovirus Infection
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