Adenovirus infection is an infection caused by a virus. It can happen in:

  • Respiratory tract
  • Eyes
  • Intestines
  • Urinary tract
The infection is highly contagious. Contact your doctor if you think you have this infection.

The Upper Respiratory Tract

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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

Risk Factors

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:

  • Mucous
  • Stool
  • Blood
  • Urine


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.

Fluid Replacement

If you have severe diarrhea or vomiting, fluids may need to be given by IV. This will prevent dehydration.

Medical Treatment

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)