What is adenovirus infection in children? Treatment and Symptoms


What is an adenovirus infection in children?

Adenovirus infection in children is a class of viruses that can cause a wide range of infections, including:

  • A cold is an example of a respiratory illness.
  • Conjunctivitis, or “pink eye,” is an inflammation of the transparent membrane that lines the whites of the eyes.
  • Croup
  • Bronchiolitis
  • Pneumonia

Adenoviruses are most common in children’s respiratory systems. On the other hand, they may trigger gastrointestinal issues. Most respiratory infections occur in the spring, summer, and late winter. In addition, these illnesses can happen at any time of the year.


Any of these viral families are capable of infecting a host. The most common routes of viral transmission among kids are.

  • Respiratory infection. The virus is in the nose, throat, and lung fluids. Respiratory infections can spread when someone infected with the virus coughs, sneezes, or touches others. Direct contact with infected surfaces or objects is also a transmission route. It can survive for hours on objects such as toys, counters, doorknobs and counters.

  • Digestive tract infection. This type of virus transmits via faecal and oral transmission. It often happens when the child needs to wash their hands more or more adequately. It might also occur if the kid consumes spoiled food or water.

What children are most at risk of adenovirus infection?

Any age child is susceptible to contracting an infection caused by the adenovirus. Children in childcare between 6 months and two years have an increased risk of becoming ill with certain viruses. Infections of the gastrointestinal system by the adenovirus are more prevalent in children younger than five.

What are the signs of adenovirus infection in children?

Adenovirus infections tend to be mild and rarely cause any symptoms. However, symptoms may vary from one child to the next. Infection with an adenovirus typically causes the following signs and symptoms.

Within 2-14 days of exposure, you may show signs of a respiratory illness. Some of these symptoms may:

  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Severe cough
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Headache
  • Pink eye

A digestive tract infection as soon as 3-10 days after exposure. Children younger than five years old usually experience symptoms that last for 1 to 2 days. These symptoms can include:

  • Watery diarrhea that suddenly starts
  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain in the belly
  • Vomiting

Adenovirus infections may look similar to other conditions. For a diagnosis, make sure your child visits their healthcare provider.

How is a child diagnosed with adenovirus infection?

The doctor will ask about your child’s symptoms and health background. Your kid will get a full body checkup from the doctor. Adenovirus tests are unnecessary for children who are very ill or have severe health conditions. These tests may include the following:

  • Blood tests
  • For testing, you can use a swab to wipe your eye, nose or throat.
  • Tests on stool samples
  • Chest X-Ray

How are adenovirus infections treated in a child?

Your child’s treatment will depend on their symptoms, age, and overall health. In addition, the condition’s severity will play a part. Adenoviruses can treat with antibiotics.

The following are possible treatments for a respiratory infection:

  • Drink more fluids. Your child must consume plenty of water. Your child may use fluids or electrolytes via an intravenous line.
  • Bronchodilator medicines. These medicines can open the airways in your child’s lungs. These are usually administered in aerosol mist via an inhaler or mask.
  • Extra supplemental oxygen. It refers to extra oxygen given via a mask, nasal prongs or oxygen tent.
  • Mechanical ventilation. To help with breathing, a child may require mechanical ventilation.

Possible treatments for a gastrointestinal infection:

  • Rehydration by mouthfuls of water. Rehydrating the body orally with fluids containing electrolytes is crucial. Electrolyte fluids have a balanced amount of sugars and salts. Rehydrate young children with water, not juices or sports drinks.

The hospital may require to treat a child suffering from severe water loss. The following treatment options may be available:

  • IV fluids. A small, flexible tube is inserted into a vein and filled with the fluid.
  • Feeding with a tube. You can give your child formula or fluids through a tube into the nose and the stomach.
  • Diagnostics involving the blood. Your child’s blood will analyze for the presence of sugar, salt, or other chemical electrolytes.

What are the potential complications

There are possible complications:

  • Long-term difficulty breathing due to chronic bronchitis. Adenovirus-related pneumonia can cause long-term lung damage in children.
  • Crippling infection. If a child’s immune system is compromised, they may be at greater risk of contracting a severe adenovirus infection.

  • Intussusception. It is when one section of the intestinal tract slides over another like a telescope. It causes intestinal blockage and is most common in infants. Further, it considers a medical emergency that can lead to bloody stool, vomiting and abdominal swelling.

How can I prevent my child from getting adenovirus infection?

To prevent the spread to others of adenoviruses:

  • Before and after you care for your child, wash your hands. Scrub your hands thoroughly for twenty seconds using warm water and soap. Rinse well. Dry with a towel or air dry.
  • Wash your child’s hands frequently, especially after eating or using the toilet.
  • Cover their nose and mouth when your child is coughing, sneezing, or sneezing.
  • Keep your distance from sick people.
  • Encourage hand washing at all childcare centers.

Healthcare workers might wear isolation clothing if their child is in the hospital. Items like masks, gloves, and hospital gowns are examples of such protections.

Key points

  • A category of adenoviruses is responsible for a wide range of disorders. In children, infections caused by adenoviruses most frequently occur in the respiratory system and the digestive tract.
  • Any age child is susceptible to contracting an infection caused by the adenovirus. By the time they are ten years old, most children have already experienced at least one adenovirus infection.
  • Most people who become infected with adenovirus have mild symptoms. The symptoms include a runny nose, a sore throat, fever, and cough. Alternatively, they may consist of diarrhea with water, fever, and abdominal pain.
  • The goal of treatment is to reduce or eliminate symptoms. Treatment for adenoviruses does not involve the use of antibiotics.

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