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A new strain of adenovirus is behind the spike in cases among children, say doctors. Here are symptoms that indicate your child is suffering from adenovirus.
Doctors in India have highlighted a significant rise in cases of respiratory ailments in children caused by a new strain of adenovirus, which is believed to be highly transmissible. Adenoviruses are known to cause eye, stomach, and respiratory infections.
Adenovirus is a highly contagious virus that can cause illnesses such as the common cold, bronchitis, and pneumonia. Symptoms associated with adenovirus infections include fever, cough, runny nose, and pink eye. Adenovirus infections lead to mild to moderate symptoms in children. Children with weak immune systems are susceptible to adenovirus infections.
Often adenovirus affects the respiratory tract (nose, throat, trachea and lungs) causing symptoms like fever, cough and cold. These symptoms may be confused with influenza or COVID. Dr Suresh Birajdar, Neonatologist & Paediatrician, Motherhood Hospital, Kharghar, tells us how to tell them apart.
Is your child suffering from adenovirus, influenza or COVID?
Dr Birajdar points out the differentiating symptoms of adenovirus infections, including:
- Presence of conjunctivitis (red eye) and enlarged lymph nodes.
- A fever lasting longer than a week.
How is diagnosis of adenovirus done?
"A special test (PCR) could be done to confirm the diagnosis of adenovirus. However, the diagnosis based on clinical symptoms is adequate for treating most of the patients," says the Paediatrician.
How is adenovirus infection treated?
According to Dr Birajdar, there is no specific course of treatment, and most children get better with supportive treatment such as paracetamol for fever control, hydration and rest.
Tips for prevention of adenovirus infection in children
Dr Birajdar says:
Currently, there is no specific vaccine to prevent adenovirus infection. Hand hygiene is the best way to keep the infection at bay. Children should regularly wash their hands using soap or sanitizer and avoid touching their eyes, nose, or mouth with contaminated hands. Also, children should avoid going to crowded places, or close contact with sick people.
Adenovirus may cause adenoid enlargement in children
Post the COVID-19 pandemic, adenovirus is commonly seen in children between the age group of 3-10 years, notes Dr Sheetal Radia, ENT & Head, and Neck Onco Surgeon, Wockhardt Hospitals, Mira Road.
Many children have mouth breathing, and an adenovirus infection in the mouth can cause inflammation of the adenoid tissue in children, which is known as adenoid enlargement or adenoiditis. This can lead to cough, cold, and breathlessness episodes.
"Approximately 60 per cent of children are having repeated cold and cough infections and are not getting cured despite prescribing medications," says Dr Radia.
She adds that children with co-morbidities like congenital heart disease, severe malnutrition and weak immunity are more prone to developing respiratory infections like adenoiditis and other problems that will require medical attention.
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