CHENNAI: Adenoviruses are common viruses, which typically cause a flu-like illness. Its infections can occur in children of any age, but are common in babies and young kids. Most children would have had at least one infection with adenovirus before the age of 10 years. Adenoviruses circulate year- round and spreads easily from person to person. They can survive on the surface of objects for a long time.
The virus can spread from an infected person to others through close personal contact, touching or shaking hands, air droplets produced by coughing and sneezing by an infected person. Touching an object or surface contaminated with adenoviruses on it, then touching the mouth, nose, or eyes without handwashing is risky.
Most adenovirus infections are asymptomatic, meaning they do not cause symptoms and signs. Whenever symptoms do occur, they are generally mild. Serious illness is rare. People with weakened immune systems, or pre-existing lung or heart issues, are at higher risk of developing severe illness from
an adenovirus infection. Common symptoms include flu-like symptoms: Cold, fever, sore throat, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, bronchitis, conjunctivitis and infection of the urinary bladder rarely. Adenovirus infections are usually diagnosed based on the patient’s symptoms. Laboratory tests are also available to identify the virus in the blood or other body fluids, but it is rarely necessary to confirm the diagnosis as most infections are self-limiting and last for 3 to 5 days. Good health habits help in preventing adenovirus infection, which includes washing hands often with soap and water; avoiding touching the eyes nose, and mouth; avoiding sharing cups and eating utensils; staying at home and avoiding travel and school if sick and avoiding close contact with people who are ill.
Modified adenoviruses have been used to build other vaccines, such as vaccines against COVID-19.
By Dr Somashekar HR, Consultant Pediatric Hepatologist - Institute of Liver Diseases & Transplantation, Gleneagles Global Health City
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