Adenovirus infections usually cause diseases of the respiratory tract; though, depending upon the virus serotype, they could cause other illnesses too. Presentations for adenovirus include illnesses of the respiratory system, gastroenteritis, cystitis and conjunctivitis.
Those having a compromised immune system are particularly vulnerable to brutal complications of the infection. Acute respiratory disease, first documented amongst the military recruits during World War II, is caused by adenovirus infections during situations of crowding and stress.
Signs And Symptoms Of Adenovirus Infection
Adenoviruses can have a host of presentations based upon the organ or organ system it affects. Common manifestations include:
- Cold and cough
- Sore throat
- Breathlessness and wheezing
- Inflammation of stomach and intestines
- Neurologic disease
Adenoviruses seldom cause serious illness or death. On the other hand, children, elderly and those having a weak immune system, or a pre-existing respiratory or heart disease, are at greater risk of developing a severe form of infection.
How Do You Get Adenovirus Infection?
Adenoviruses spread from one infected individual to another via:
- Close personal contact.
- Through droplet infection – via air by coughing and sneezing.
- Touching an object which has adenoviruses on it, and then touching your nose, mouth or eyes.
- Some adenoviruses spread via an infected individual’s stool, like when you change the diaper.
- The virus is also known to spread via water, such as swimming pool.
- At times the virus can be released from the body for a long time even after the individual has recovered from the infection, particularly amongst those who have a weak immune system.
Treatment And Prevention Of Adenovirus Infection
It is essential that a quick diagnosis is made and prompt treatment started. Confer with your health care provider and carry out the tests that he recommends. Antigen detection, virus isolation and serology are employed to recognize adenovirus infections. Adenovirus typing is done by hemagglutination-inhibition. The virus can be excreted for protracted periods of time; thus the incidence of the virus does not automatically mean it is associated with a disease.
- Most infections of adenovirus are mild and do not need any therapy; some require symptomatic treatment. Since there is no virus-specific treatment, serious adenovirus infections can be handled only by managing the symptoms and complications of the infection. Deaths are very uncommon, but they have been reported occasionally.
- Respiratory tract related symptoms are managed by giving anti-inflammatory agents and medications to tackle cough and wheezing.
- GI tract inflammations are also handled by prescribing anti-inflammatory medicines along with a suitable diet.
- Vitamin C is given to boost the immune mechanism and to help fight off the virus and expedite cure.
- Clean your hands thoroughly with soap and water to avoid a spread of infection.
- Cover the nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed, dirty hands.
- Steer clear of close contact with those who are sick.
- Adenoviruses are resistant to common disinfectants and can stay contagious on surfaces and objects for a long time. Also, it is very vital that you keep sufficient levels of chlorine in the swimming pools so to put a stop to outbreaks of conjunctivitis caused by adenoviruses.