What's Adenovirus?

A. It’s sometimes hard to keep track of all the different germs you hear about. Adenovirus is a type of virus that can infect the membranes—that’s the tissue lining—including a child’s respiratory tract, eyes, intestines and urinary tract.

Adenovirus affects babies and children more than adults. It can cause a range of conditions from pink eye to diarrhea. To diagnose adenovirus, we may test your child’s secretions, stool, blood or urine.

It’s important to know if your child has adenovirus in order to determine the best course of treatment. While symptoms can resemble bacterial infections, antibiotics will not make your child feel better.

Adenovirus is very contagious and can spread easily in schools and child-care facilities. Coughs, sneezes and traces of pee and poop are ways the virus is spread. Even holding hands or sharing toys can result in transmission.

Many viruses resolve themselves with home care. However, if the following conditions develop, your child should be seen by a primary care provider:

·      A temperature at or over 100.5 degrees that lasts more than 5 days

·      Your child becomes worse, such as acting very sleepy or not willing to drink fluids

·      Your child has difficulty breathing or is breathing rapidly

·      Redness around the eye or swelling that closes the eyelid

·      Your child is less than 3 months old

·      You see signs of dehydration, such as low energy, less tears, less urination, dry mouth or sunken eyes

Because adenovirus can cause diarrhea and vomiting, it’s very important to provide adequate hydration and to seek help for a child that seems especially sick.

Have more questions about adenovirus? Call Bluffton Pediatrics at (419) 549-5865.

Looking for better pediatric healthcare information online? Visit kidshealth.org and 700childrens.nationwidechildrens.org for information that parents and caregivers can trust!