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What is Adenovirus? Know About its Symptoms & Causes

March 14, 2023
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Adenovirus is a flu-like infection caused by a set of common viruses. It affects the eye lining, lungs, airways, urinary tract, nervous system and intestines. The infection can lead to adenovirus symptoms in children like cough, sore throat, pink eye and diarrhoea. Adenovirus infections are often seen in children rather than adults. A child contracts any one type of virus before turning 10 years old. The virus does not cause serious illness and the adenovirus infection goes away after a few days. Children with weak immunity may be affected for a longer duration.

What are Adenovirus Causes?

Adenovirus infections can affect both children and adults because there are more than 50different types of adenovirus. The virus affects the body and is contagious. It affects children with weak immune systems. The adenovirus infection spread quickly through various means, like:

●     Through close contact like shaking hands, hugging or kissing.

●     Through air while coughing or sneezing. While coughing or sneezing, the respiratory drops are discharged and when others come in contact with it, they can catch an adenovirus infection.

●     Touching contaminated surfaces, the virus can get into your eyes, mouth or nose. Therefore, it is important to wash your hands regularly.

●     Through stools of a person with adenovirus infection. If a baby is infected you can get affected while changing their diaper. Therefore, it is important to sanitise your hands after every diaper change if your child has an adenovirus infection.

●     Through water, the virus can spread via unchlorinated water. An adenovirus-infected person swimming in an unchlorinated pool can infect co-swimmers. Therefore, it is important to check if the water is chlorinated before swimming.


"Adenovirus causes which disease?" is the question of many people. The answer is that it can lead to respiratory diseases, at times pneumonia, epidemic keratoconjunctivitis, in a few cases gastroenteritis, pharyngeal-conjunctival fever, cystitis and acute follicular. In children, pharyngeal-conjunctival fever and pharyngitis are common.


Must Read: Coronavirus Anxiety During Pregnancy? Here Are A Few Ways To Tackle It!

What are the Adenovirus Symptoms?

Different people will experience different symptoms. Though some of the common symptoms include:

1.     Bronchitis causes inflammation of the membranes in the bronchial tubes causing a running nose, cough, chills and fever.

2.     Respiratory infections are adenovirus symptoms in children leading to a stuffy nose, sore throat, cough and swollen glands.

3.     Difficulty in breathing, making noise while breathing and barking cough

4.     Ear infection and fever

5.     Pink eye is an adenovirus symptom in children resulting in eye discharges, tearing and red eyes.

6.     Pneumonia

7.     Stomach infection is also one of the adenovirus symptoms in children resulting in vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pain and fever.

8.     Urinary tract infection resulting in blood in the urine and a burning sensation while urinating.

9.     Swelling in the spinal cord or the brain causing frequent headaches, stiff neck and nausea.


Adenovirus Infection Diagnosis

Those suffering from a mild infection can receive treatment at home. But if you experience severe symptoms, contact a healthcare provider immediately. Some of the diagnostic practices include:

●     Laboratory tests – Blood samples are collected from the vein in your arm

●     Swab test – Samples collected from the nose or throat

●     Urine test – Samples are collected in a container and sent for test

●     Stool test – The poop samples are collected and sent to the lab for test

●     Chest X-Ray – The patient is asked to lie or stand still and radiation is used to take an X-ray of the chest. The heart and lungs are captured in the X-Ray. The doctor examines the image to understand the adenovirus infection level to devise a treatment plan.

What are the Adenovirus Treatments Available?

Adenovirus causes which disease and what are the adenovirus treatments available? Read below:

●     Adenovirus treatment is not specific as only the symptoms have to be attended to. The Symptoms like a cold and fever can be treated across the counter medicines. The best adenovirus treatment is to take lots of fluids and rest.

●     Antiviral medicines are not recommended for adenovirus treatment, particularly for those with good immunity levels. Similarly, antibiotics do not work in the case of adenovirus infection and hence it is best to avoid them.

●     For severe adenovirus infection and poor immune system, it is advised to consult a health care provider immediately. Hospital treatment can help recover from the adenovirus infection. Though the use of antiviral medications is prescribed rarely.


How Long is the Adenovirus Contagious?

Adenovirus is contagious during the initial days of experiencing symptoms. In some cases, the patient may not show any symptoms while still spreading the adenovirus infection. The answer to "How long is an adenovirus contagious?" is not specific as it varies from person to person and depends on the level of immunity.


Adenovirus Vs. Coronavirus

Adenovirus causes symptoms that are common with coronavirus, hence patients often get confused about their health condition. The coronavirus and adenovirus causes are the transmission of the adenovirus infection through respiratory droplets or when you come into direct contact with the patient. When it comes to Adenovirus vs. Coronavirus, the former can last longer in comparison to coronavirus as the former is highly disinfectant resistant.


In Adenovirus vs. Coronavirus, the latter develops an extra layer when it is outside the host cell. This envelope is made of proteins and lipids that protect the virus from the outside environment. The spike-like structures are proteins. On the contrary, adenoviruses do not develop any membrane, which makes them disinfectant resistant. The lack of an extra layer protects the virus. The coronavirus has a protein that bonds the envelopes. Once the envelope breaks, the proteins dissolve, making them highly infectious and less disinfectant resistant. Adenoviruses attach their proteins to the capsids ,which stay intact, making them resistant to disinfectants.


Prevention is better than cure. Protect yourself from getting an adenovirus infection. If you know someone is sick, keep away from them. Wash your hands regularly and disinfect them before and after meals. The use of alcohol-based sanitisers can help with instant disinfection. The surfaces have to be disinfected regularly to remove germs. Use tissues or

kerchiefs to cover your mouth and nose while sneezing or coughing.



What does the adenovirus do to humans?

Adenovirus causes respiratory illness in humans. The virus could cause a cold, bronchitis, conjunctivitis, fever, cough, chills and sneezing.


How serious is adenovirus?

Adenovirus does not cause serious infection, though individuals with a weak immune system are at higher risk of developing severe infection.


How do humans get adenovirus?

The adenovirus spreads through respiratory droplets released through coughing and sneezing. It also spreads through close contact like hugging, kissing and shaking hands


What are the first symptoms of an adenovirus?

There are more than 50 types of adenovirus and the symptoms may occur 2 days to 2 weeks after exposure to the virus. In most cases, it occurs 5-6 days after exposure to the virus.



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