How Contagious is Adenovirus and its symptoms?

How Contagious is Adenovirus and its symptoms?

Human adenoviruses are viruses that can lead to a number of conditions, including pneumonia, acute bronchitis, pink eye, the common cold, and other ailments. Mild or severe disease can be brought on by adenoviruses.

However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) assert that adenovirus-related serious disease is less frequent. Human adenoviruses are viruses that typically affect the upper or lower respiratory tract or the eyes, according to a 2018 review paper.

According to the CDC, adenoviruses can cause a number of diseases, including:

  • the typical cold
  • flu-like signs
  • fever
  • an upset stomach
  • chronic bronchitis
  • pneumonia
  • Pink eye, or conjunctivitis
  • acute gastroenteritis and gastrointestinal tract inflammation

There are 49 different forms of adenovirus that can harm people. However, according to a 2020 article, the majority of adenovirus infections are asymptomatic. In other words, those who contract these viruses might not exhibit any symptoms.

There are numerous adenoviruses that can lead to major outbreaks, according to the CDC. These consist of:

  • three, four, and seven strains of adenovirus, which cause severe respiratory diseases
  • Adenovirus type 14, which also causes severe respiratory infections, is more common in US military personnel.
  • Types 8, 19, 37, 53, and 54 of the adenovirus, which can cause extremely contagious conjunctivitis
  • Adenovirus types 40 and 41, which primarily affect children and cause gastroenteritis

How the adenovirus spreads?

Adenoviruses are common viruses that cause traditional cold-like symptoms that many people get every year.

Adenovirus symptoms typically appear between 2 and 14 days after the initial exposure.

Symptoms of adenovirus infection can include cough, sore throat, bronchitis, diarrhea, pneumonia, and pinkeye. With a healthy immune system, these symptoms are usually mild and pass quickly.

“The adenovirus is typically associated with respiratory infections, as well as gastrointestinal infections,” said Dr. Helena Gutierrez, medical director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Children’s Pediatric Liver Transplant Program.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, agrees that adenovirus is quite common and is mostly responsible for outbreaks of pinkeye.

“However, there are also a number of papers that show adenovirus, once it gets into a unit that takes care of immunocompromised patients, can cause more serious outbreaks,” Schaffner said. “They frequently result in pneumonia, and in this case, a number of deaths.”

Despite this recent increase in cases of hepatitis, Schaffner doesn’t believe the general public (or those with a healthy immune system) should be overly concerned. Many cases are mild.

Adenovirus, once it enters a facility that cares for immunocompromised patients, however, can also produce more serious outbreaks, according to a number of articles, Schaffner said. They frequently cause pneumonia and, in this instance, several fatalities.

Schaffner thinks the general public (or those with a healthy immune system) shouldn’t be overly concerned despite the recent rise in hepatitis cases. Many cases are minor ones.

Symptoms of Adenovirus

Various adenovirus types can have different effects on you:

  • Cough, runny nose, fever, chills, and bronchitis
  • Colds and other respiratory infections: Swollen glands, runny and stuffy nose, cough, sore throat, and
  • Coughing up bark, having trouble breathing, and making a high-pitched noise when you breathe in
  • Ear infection: fever, irritability, and ear pain
  • Red eyes, discharge from the eyes, crying, and the sensation that something is in your eye are all symptoms of pink eye (conjunctivitis).
  • Pneumonia: fever, cough, and breathing difficulties
  • Infections of the stomach and intestines: nausea, vomiting, headaches, fever, and cramping in the stomach
  • Meningitis and encephalitis can cause swelling of the brain and spinal cord.
  • nausea, vomiting, stiff neck, fever, and headache (this is rare)
  • Urinary tract infections: frequent urination, burning and pain, and blood in the urine

Consult your child’s paediatrician if you suspect one of these viruses may be present in them. If a baby under three months old exhibits signs of an adenovirus infection, always call the doctor.

If your child exhibits any of these more severe signs, call the doctor right away:

  • difficulty breathing
  • eyes are swollen around them
  • a fever that persists for several days
  • Dehydration symptoms, such as fewer tears or fewer wet diapers

Are adenoviruses contagious?

Adenoviruses spread easily. They can quickly spread by:

  • Close contact: Hand shaking, kissing, and hugging are all ways that the virus can pass from one person to another.
  • Sneezing and coughing can spread the infection through the air. Sneezes, coughs, and other respiratory discharges can spread to other people through the air.
  • Objects and surfaces: If you don’t immediately wash your hands after touching a contaminated surface, the virus can enter your body through contact with your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • The virus can spread through an infected person’s poop (stool). As an illustration, changing your baby’s diaper can expose you to an infection.
  • Water: Water that has not been chlorine-treated can help transmit the infection. For instance, if an adenovirus-infected individual swims in a pool without enough chlorine, they can spread the infection. Though uncommon, this kind of spread does exist.

Adenoviruses are immune to a variety of widely used disinfectants. As a result, they can spread disease for a very long time on surfaces.

Furthermore, even after you have recovered from an infection, these viruses can continue to release from your body (shed) for days or even weeks. So even if you are symptom-free, the virus can still spread.

Treatment of Adenovirus

Since antibiotics primarily treat bacterial infections, they cannot treat viral infections. Within a few days, children frequently recover on their own from illnesses. Some diseases, such as pneumonia or pink eye, can persist for a week or longer.

Children with a weakened immune system could require hospital care to aid in their recovery.

To assist your child in feeling better, you can:

  • Drink a lot of liquids. Children lose fluids due to diarrhoea, vomiting, and fever. Dehydration is a possibility. For kids to stay hydrated, water or 100% fruit juice are the best options. You might also give an electrolyte-containing children’s solution a shot.
  • Eliminate congestion Help your child to frequently blow their nose. Put a few drops of saline spray or drops into the nostril of an infant. Mucus should then be removed using a bulb syringe.
  • Turn on a humidifier with cool mist. Your child’s breathing will be made easier thanks to the moisture.
  • lower the fever. To reduce pain and a fever, ask your doctor if you can give your kid acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin).
  • Avoid giving children aspirin-containing goods because they may cause Reye syndrome, an uncommon but deadly illness.

Prevention of adenovirus

Making sure that both adults and kids frequently wash their hands is a simple preventative strategy. The best practise is to wash your hands:

  • during and after the cooking process
  • prior to eating
  • touching someone who is vomiting or having diarrhoea both before and after
  • cutting and wound care before and after
  • following a bathroom visit
  • after a diaper change or after assisting someone to the restroom
  • after sneezing, coughing, or blowing one’s nose
  • Upon contact with any animal, animal products, or animal waste (such as soiled cat litter),
  • after handling any trash

If someone has conjunctivitis, they should also refrain from sharing towels or pillows. This is done to stop individuals of the same home from contracting the adenovirus.



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