What is Adenovirus and why it is affecting more children?

Adenovirus is not a single virus it is a group of viruses that causes infection mainly in the linings of the eyes, lungs, respiratory tracts, urinary tracts, and nervous system. Adenovirus infection can happen to anyone at any age but it is most commonly found in infants and young kids. Almost every child gets infected by this virus once before reaching the age of 10 years. These are not seasonal viruses like flu, they can happen at any time of the year.

Symptoms Of Adenovirus

The symptoms of adenovirus depend upon the type of the virus and also on the part of the body it has affected. Although the commonly found symptoms are similar to that of common cough & colds, like fever, runny nose, sore throat, and cough.

Not so common symptoms are

  • Redness of the eyes
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Frequent urination or difficulty at the time of urine
  • Prevalent Stomach and headache

Can Adenovirus Spread Through Contact

Yes, it can spread through contact and it is a highly contagious infection. It can spread through inhaling the droplets released by an infected person in the air, through fecal reductions like poop, or dirty diapers, and poor hygiene awareness, it also spreads through water contaminated with the virus. It is found that adenovirus is at its peak generally during the summer times due to contaminated water in the common swimming pools.
It can live on the surface for a long duration of time so children can also get infected by sharing infected toys, or objects.

How To Diagnose Adenovirus Infection?

The symptoms of adenovirus are common like any other infections so in case of mild symptoms doctors generally do not prescribe any tests, but if a person has serious or prolonged symptoms doctors write certain tests like stool tests, urine tests, respiratory tests, or tests for diagnosing the conjunctival secretions from the eyes, etc.

Why It Affects More To Infants & Young Children

Adenovirus is also a type of Coronavirus that can infect children at any age, but children aged from 6 months to 2 years who are in childcare and have a developing immune system are more likely to get infected, as it affects a child more easily if the immune system is weak. It commonly infects the digestive and respiratory tracts of children under the age of 5.

How To Treat Adenovirus Infection

Generally, Adenovirus Infections get better with at-home treatments including:

  • Proper Rest
  • Better Hydration with fluids like electrolytes
  • Giving Normal Paracetamol in case of high temperatures
  • Use saltwater drops or nasal drops to relieve the congestion in the nose.

Image Source- https://images.app.goo.gl/sr6JMwDk76NR9gqP7

In severe cases following medical treatments are used

Medical Treatment in case of respiratory infection

Bronchial Medicines

In case the bronchitis is found the child is given medicines through nebulizing to clear the respiratory tracts & lungs. Or aerosol sprays are also prescribed through an inhaler if the child is above 5 years of age.

External Supply Of Oxygen

If the congestion is prolonged and not controlled through aerosol sprays or nebulizing, an external oxygen mask is connected to the hospital controlling the pressure and supply according to the condition.

Ventilation Through Machines

A child whose condition is severe may need to be put on a breathing machine (ventilator) to help with breathing.

Medical Treatment in case of digestive infection

Oral Rehydration

Digestive infections generally lead to water loss from the body, thus rehydration through water or electrolytes is very important. Electrolytes contain a balance of sugars and salts necessary for hydration.

Correct Food

It is advised to have food as guided by the doctor at times of digestive infections.

A child suffering from severe water loss may need treatment in the hospital. The treatment may include:

Particular Fluids

Injected through a thin, flexible tube in a vein.

Feeding Through The Tube

A small tube is placed through the nose into the child’s stomach so that formula or fluids can be fed.

Different Blood Tests

This is done to measure the levels of sugar, salt, and other chemicals in the child’s blood.

How To Prevent Adenovirus Infection –

Like any other infection, this can also be prevented through certain precautions and caring habits like :

  • Be sure that kids and their caregivers wash their hands frequently and practice hygiene.
  • Try to keep the surface and surroundings clean and objects which are more often used by child-like toys.
  • Do not send your kids to school, or daycare activities if you doubt or see any symptoms before checking up with the doctor.
  • Teach kids to cover their mouth & nose with tissue or handkerchief while sneezing or coughing instead of their bare hands.

Lastly, these are just general causes, symptoms, and precautions. If you see illness in your child prolonged for more than 2-3 days, having eye infections, difficulty in breathing, vision difficulty, severe diarrhea or any other symptoms seeks doctor help immediately as you know your child the best.

Leave a Comment