Protect Our Children from Adenovirus Infection

Adenovirus-related diseases commonly experienced by children can spread quickly. Those who are infected are strongly advised not to go to school or go to public places.

Adenoviruses are a group of viruses that can cause infections in the eyes, intestines, lungs, and airways. At least, there are around 40 types of adenovirus that have been identified and have the potential to infect anyone easily. Because, this virus can live for a long time on the surface of objects.

adenovirus spreading
adenovirus

Adenovirus Caused Diseases

Here are some diseases caused by adenovirus:

Respiratory tract disease with fever (febrile respiratory disease)

This disease that resembles flu is an adenovirus infection that is most common in children. Other symptoms that can arise include pharyngitis, coughing, rhinitis and swollen lymph nodes. In some cases, this disease also causes middle ear infections (otitis media).

Impaired lower respiratory tract

Adenovirus infection can cause lower respiratory tract disease, such as pneumonia, whooping cough, or bronchiolitis. Although rare, this condition can lead to fatal health problems for the baby.

Gastroenteritis

Adenovirus infection can cause gastroenteritis, which is inflammation of the stomach, large and small intestine. Symptoms of gastroenteritis can include diarrhea, fever, vomiting, abdominal cramps and headaches.

Urinary tract infection

Adenovirus infection can cause urinary tract infections (UTI). Symptoms of urinary tract infections include frequent urination and pain when urinating. Cystitis is a type of urinary tract infection caused by adenovirus infection. Urinary tract infections that are often experienced by women are characterized by the color of urine that is dark and smelly.

 Eye infection

Adenovirus which attacks the eye can cause inflammation in the outer layer of the eye and the inner lining of the eyelids (conjunctiva) or conjunctivitis (pinkeye). Red eyes and discharge from the eye are symptoms commonly felt by sufferers. Another type of eye infection is pharyngoconjunctival fever, which is when the respiratory tract becomes infected. While keratoconjunctivitis occurs when the cornea is also infected.

Adenovirus rarely ends in death, but generally this infection can become serious if it occurs in infants or people who experience impaired immune system. In patients with heart or respiratory disorders, the risk of developing a severe disease will be greater when infected with adenovirus.

Protecting Children from Adenovirus Infection

Adenovirus infection spreads from one person to another through coughing, sneezing, or contamination of feces. To avoid transmission of this infection, the following ways can be done by people and other people who are still healthy:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with your hands or cloth when coughing and sneezing.
  • Wash hands before eating and after urinating, and before processing food. Also wash your hands after making contact with public facilities, such as touching the minimarket door opening handle or holding on to a train or bus.
  • Teach children to always wash their hands before eating. They can get infected if they play with an infected friend.
  • Avoid eating foods that have been caught by flies.
  • Adenovirus sufferers should not go to school or work. Also, you should avoid using public facilities, such as swimming in public swimming pools, because adenoviruses that cause pinkeye can spread through water. This is why chlorine is needed in swimming pools to prevent transmission.
  • Avoid wiping your eyes, mouth, or nose with hands that have not been washed.

Diarrhea due to adenovirus can subside in about two weeks. Some other diseases, such as pneumonia, can last up to four weeks. Remember, antibiotics cannot treat viral infections. Therefore, you should not use drugs at random.

Symptoms of adenovirus infection in each child can vary depending on which part of the body is infected. Immediately check the child to see a doctor if he has breathing problems, dehydration, prolonged fever, symptoms worsen after a week, and red and swollen eyes that get worse. Symptoms of Adenovirus infection that are not severe that occur in infants under three months, should immediately be seen by a doctor.