Adenovirus Infection In Adults And Children: Symptoms And Treatment

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Video: Adenovirus Infection In Adults And Children: Symptoms And Treatment

Video: Adenovirus Infection In Adults And Children: Symptoms And Treatment
Video: Are you at risk of an adenovirus infection? 2023, September
Adenovirus Infection In Adults And Children: Symptoms And Treatment
Adenovirus Infection In Adults And Children: Symptoms And Treatment

Adenovirus infection: symptoms and treatment

Adenovirus infection
Adenovirus infection

Adenovirus infection is accompanied by damage to the mucous membranes of the respiratory system, eyes, digestive and lymphatic systems. The patient suffers from severe malaise. Viruses are easily transmitted from one person to another, since at room temperature they can survive for 14 days or more.

About 10% of all viral infections occur precisely through the fault of adenoviruses. About 1/3 of all cases are children. Moreover, more than 50% of them are under five years old. Massive outbreaks of infection are observed in autumn and winter.


  • Adenovirus infection: modes of transmission
  • Symptoms and forms of adenovirus infection
  • Diagnosis of adenovirus infection
  • Treatment of adenovirus infection

Adenovirus infection: modes of transmission

Adenovirus infection
Adenovirus infection

Science knows 62 types of adenoviruses, 49 of them have a common antigen. In total, 7 subgroups have been identified: A, B, C, D, E, F, G. However, they all have a pathological effect on human mucous membranes.

The disease can take various forms:

  • Viruses from subgroup B and E cause vivid symptoms, the disease manifests itself acutely.
  • Viruses of the subgroup C and B cause a disease that is latent. A person often develops chronic inflammation of the tonsils, adenoids, etc.
  • Subgroup F viruses cause intestinal upset.
  • Subgroup B viruses are capable of provoking conjunctivitis.
  • Viruses of the B2 subgroup have a pathological effect on the liver and organs of the urinary system.

Adenovirus infection is one of the many variants of ARVI, so the disease is always accompanied by symptoms that resemble the flu. The infected person's body temperature rises, the lymph nodes increase in size, discomfort in the throat appears, rhinitis develops, etc. However, there are also distinctive features that are inherent in adenovirus infection.

These viruses were discovered by microbiologist W. Rowe in 1953. They were isolated from the tonsils and adenoids of sick children. Later, American scientists began to study them. They found such viruses in the lymph nodes, in the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract, in the organs of vision. In 1962, it was found that some serotypes of adenoviruses are capable of causing the development of cancerous tumors.

The spread of infection is a sick person or a carrier of viruses. The carriers of the symptoms of the disease no longer exist, as they are in the recovery stage. However, adenoviruses can remain contagious for 50 days or longer. There is also speculation that some animals can infect humans with adenovirus infection. However, research on this issue has not yet been completed.

There are 2 ways of spreading a viral infection:

  • Airborne droplets. The pathogenic flora is released into the external environment with sputum and mucus when a sick person talks or coughs. To minimize the risk of infection, good hygiene is essential. If a sick person lives in the apartment, then it is necessary to regularly carry out wet cleaning in it.
  • Fecal-oral transmission. The virus can be transmitted in this way for another 1.5 months after the first symptoms of infection are detected in the patient. Most often, such viruses provoke the development of intestinal disorders.

There are several ways to destroy the virus. The pathogenic flora dies when exposed to high temperatures. Viruses lose their vitality at temperatures of +50 ° C. They are afraid of chlorine and ultraviolet radiation.

After infection, it may take 2-12 days until the first symptoms appear. The average incubation period is a week. Most often, the disease affects children aged from six months to 5 years. Up to 6 months, babies have innate immunity, which they receive from their mother. After 5 years, children develop their own defense mechanisms against infection.

Massive outbreaks are rare. However, the virus spreads easily in children's groups. Viruses can be transmitted by water, so infection often occurs while swimming in pools. This happens on condition that they are poorly disinfected. Thus, people often become infected with adenoviruses that provoke conjunctivitis.

Sometimes the disease develops even after the usual hypothermia or when eating cold foods, such as ice cream. This is due to the fact that adenoviruses were in the tissues of the tonsils in a latent form. These patients require antiviral drugs. The disease is often accompanied by bacterial eye inflammation. This form of infection requires the use of antibiotics.

Symptoms and forms of adenovirus infection

Symptoms and forms
Symptoms and forms

Symptoms of adenovirus infection:

  • Increased body temperature. It can persist at subfebrile levels, and sometimes reaches febrile levels. The body temperature drops rapidly.
  • Headache.
  • Increased fatigue and weakness.
  • Rhinitis.
  • Sore throat and other catarrhal phenomena. They develop from the first day of illness.
  • Swelling of the mucous membranes.
  • Dry cough that becomes wet on the 3rd or 4th day of illness.
  • The appearance of a purulent plaque on the tonsils, their soreness.
  • Swelling of the mucous membranes.
  • Pain in the eyes, watery eyes.
  • Lack of desire to eat.
  • Insomnia.
  • Pale skin, irritability.
  • Abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting.
  • An increase in the size of the lymph nodes.

Since adenoviruses are related to ARVI, people often confuse the manifestations of the disease with the flu. Conjunctivitis is a marker that allows to determine that a patient develops an adenoviral infection. This symptom cannot go unnoticed. A person has a feeling that sand has been poured into his eyes, they are watery, they can fester. Moreover, the pathological process is able to spread to both one and two eyes.

Intoxication of the body with adenovirus infection is not as intense as with flu. It lasts no longer than 1-2 days. While with the flu, this period is extended by 1-7 days.

The body temperature rises to 38 ° C. Within a day, it begins to decline and stabilizes. If the patient has the flu, the fever is intense. The mark on the thermometer is kept at 39-40 ° C.

Symptoms characteristic of adenovirus infection include:

  • Conjunctivitis and keratoconjunctivitis.
  • Rhinitis and inflammation of the tonsils.
  • Inflammation of the bronchi.
  • Pharyngitis.
  • Inflammation of the lymph nodes in the abdomen (mesenteric lymphadenitis).

These symptoms are often combined with each other.

In childhood, the infection has a pronounced course. In a child of the first year of life, adenoviruses can cause pneumonia. Moreover, the disease develops quickly. Breathing becomes hoarse, convulsions, shortness of breath, vomiting may occur. Pneumonia manifests suddenly, while in adult patients this complication is expected if he does not receive the necessary treatment.

If a newborn child has been infected, then he does not have a significant increase in the body, conjunctivitis may develop. The lymph nodes remain normal. This is due to the fact that infants have innate immunity from their mother. Therefore, the disease is not gaining intensity in them.

Young children often suffer from intestinal disorders. The stool becomes frequent, mucus appears in it. Sometimes children complain of severe abdominal pain that resembles acute appendicitis.

If there is no treatment, then it threatens with serious complications. The patient may develop tonsillitis, disseminated intravascular coagulation syndrome, obstructed bronchitis, sinusitis, otitis media. Existing chronic diseases are often exacerbated. Therefore, the symptoms of adenovirus infection require medical attention.

Diagnosis of adenovirus infection

Diagnosis of adenovirus infection
Diagnosis of adenovirus infection

The symptoms of adenovirus infection are multiple. They resemble flu, rotavirus, and even inflammation of the appendix, which makes it difficult to make a correct diagnosis. Therefore, you should not try to determine on your own what kind of infection caused the disorder.

Doctors use the following methods to diagnose adenovirus infection:

  • UAC. A blood test can detect a jump in the level of leukocytes. Often this indicator is the first signal of developing pneumonia.
  • TANK. If the adenovirus did not provoke serious complications, then blood biochemistry does not undergo significant changes. Pneumonia is indicated by the presence of sialic acid, fibrinogen in the blood. The test result for C-reactive protein will be positive.
  • ELISA. This method allows detecting antibodies to adenovirus in the epithelium of the mucous membranes.
  • REEF. The method is aimed at detecting antibodies to the virus. This research is highly accurate.
  • PCR. The study allows you to identify the RNA of the virus in various substrates (in blood, in a smear).
  • Sputum examination. It allows you to detect the causative agent and determine its sensitivity to drugs.

Treatment of adenovirus infection

Treatment of adenovirus infection
Treatment of adenovirus infection

In both children and adult patients, adenovirus infection is treated according to a single scheme. The basis of therapy is the relief of the manifestations of the disease, the normalization of the patient's condition, and an increase in immunity. If a person develops complications, then antibacterial drugs are required.

It is recommended to adhere to bed rest in the acute phase of the disease, being isolated from society. The infection is quickly transmitted within the family, so you need to follow the rules of hygiene, regularly ventilate the room where the patient is, and do wet cleaning in it. To reduce the symptoms of body intoxication, you should drink as much water as possible.

If the patient does not want to eat, then it is not necessary to impose food on him. This can lead to nausea and vomiting. Typically, treatment takes place at home. Hospitalization is required in case of emergency, with the development of severe complications. Most often, young children are admitted to the hospital.

To reduce headache, eliminate nasal congestion and cough, you can take Codelac, Rinostop helps to cope with a runny nose, Maxikold eliminates fever. Sometimes patients are prescribed antiviral drugs, for example, Amiksin. It not only fights infection, but also boosts immunity. Conjunctivitis requires the use of eye drops and ointments with antibacterial and antiviral effects.

Adenovirus and other types of ARVI are activated with the arrival of cold weather. The disease in children, and sometimes in adults, is difficult. Therefore, you should not hesitate to see a doctor. The doctor will be able to choose the optimal treatment, as well as give effective advice on the prevention of the disease.


Article author: Mochalov Pavel Alexandrovich | d. m. n. therapist


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