Adenoviruses are known to invite eye, stomach, and respiratory infections. There is a significant rise in child admissions with respiratory ailments due to a new strain of adenovirus that is more transmissible and is behind the spike in cases.
It is a highly contagious virus leading to illnesses such as the common cold, bronchitis, and pneumonia. These infections cause symptoms such as fever, cough, runny nose, and pink eye. Adenovirus infections lead to mild to moderate symptoms in children. Those children with weak immune systems are more prone to it.
Explaining the same, Dr Suresh Birajdar, Neonatologist & Paediatrician, Motherhood Hospital, Kharghar, said, “Adenovirus is a common virus causing infection of respiratory tract (nose, throat, trachea and lungs). The symptoms consist of fever, cough and cold. These symptoms are at times similar to influenza or even Covid,” however, he stressed that the differentiating symptoms in case of adenovirus are presence of conjunctivitis (red eye) and enlarged lymph nodes. The fever may last longer than a week in adenovirus infection.
For diagnosis, a special test (PCR) can be done to confirm adenovirus, however, the diagnosis based on clinical symptoms is adequate for treating most of the patients, said Dr Birajdar. “There is no specific course of treatment. Children get better with supportive treatment such as paracetamol for fever control, hydration and rest. There is no specific vaccine available for dealing with adenovirus. To keep infection at bay, children should avoid touching their eyes, nose, or mouth with contaminated hands and regularly use soap or sanitizer to wash their hands. Also, do not go to crowded places, or come in contact with sick people,” he added.
Further, Dr Sheetal Radia, ENT & Head, and Neck Onco Surgeon, Wockhardt Hospitals, Mira Road said, “Adenovirus is commonly seen in children of age group 3-10 years post-pandemic. We all are nose breathers, but many children have mouth breathing. This child may have adenoid enlargement, which is known as Adenodigest. It may be due to an infection that is adenovirus. These children repeatedly fall sick with cough cold breathlessness episodes. Approximately 60% of children are having repeated cold and cough infections and are not getting cured despite prescribing medications.”
Concluding, she said, “The 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.”