Adenovirus infection is an infection caused by a virus. It can happen in:
- Respiratory tract
- Urinary tract
The Upper Respiratory Tract
Adenoviruses are often the cause of the common cold . They also cause a number of other types of infections. Adenoviruses can be spread through:
- Being exposed to a sneeze or cough of an infected person
- Being exposed to fecal contamination (eg, water supplies, poor hygiene)
- Eating food contaminated by houseflies
- Person-to-person contact
- Handling an object that was exposed to an infected person
- Swimming in lakes or pools
The following factor is thought to increase the risk of developing an adenovirus infection:
- Age: childhood, especially young children
Depending on where the infection occurs, symptoms of adenovirus infection may include:
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Depending on the type of infection that is suspected, samples may be taken and sent to a lab. The samples may be:
Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you. Treatment will depend on the type of infection you have. Treatment options include:
Management of Symptoms
The infections will usually end on its own. The following steps can help you be more comfortable:
- Getting plenty of rest
- Drinking extra fluids
- Using a humidifier
- Taking acetaminophen or other over-the-counter medications
If you have conjunctivitis, your doctor may have you use warm compresses. You may also have eye ointments or drops.
If you have severe diarrhea or vomiting, fluids may need to be given by IV. This will prevent dehydration.
A compromised or weak immune system can lead to a more serious infection. In this case, a doctor may need to administer certain medicines.
The best way to prevent adenovirus infection is to:
- Avoid contact with infected persons
- Practice good hygiene including frequent hand washing and cleaning surfaces (eg, countertops, toys)
- Keep swimming pools adequately chlorinated (will help prevent outbreaks of adenovirus infection associated with swimming pools)
American Academy of Pediatrics
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
About Kids Health
Alberta Children's Services
Adenovirus infections. In: Peter G, ed. 1997 Red Book: Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases . 24th ed. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics;1997:131.
Adenoviruses. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/Ncidod/dvrd/revb/respiratory/eadfeat.htm . Accessed June 24, 2007.
Foy HM. Adenoviruses. In: Evans A, Kaslow R, eds. Viral Infections in Humans: epidemiology and control . 4th ed. New York, NY: Plenum;1997:119-138.
Horwitz MS. Adenoviruses. In: Fields BN, Knipe DM, Howley PM, eds. Fields Virology . 3rd ed. Philadelphia:Lippincott-Raven;1995:2149-2171.
Infections: adenovirus. Nemours Foundation website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/lung/adenovirus.html . Accessed June 24, 2007.
Last reviewed January 2009 by
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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