Adenovirus Infections

Adenoviruses are a group of viruses that can infect the lining of the eyes, respiratory tract, intestines, urinary tract and nervous system.  Infections often result in common illnesses such as bronchitis, pink eye, diarrhea, sore throat, bladder infections or pneumonia.

Adenoviruses are highly contagious and can be spread when someone who is infected sneezes or coughs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adenoviruses can also spread through close personal contact (touching or shaking hands) or by “touching surfaces with the adenoviruses on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands.”  There have been cases in which adenoviruses have spread through stool or through water (for example swimming pools) but occurrences are uncommon.

The places in which adenoviruses are commonly found are daycare centers, summer camps, schools or other areas where large groups of children gather.

Anyone is at risk for contracting adenoviruses, but young children and individuals with compromised immune systems are more susceptible to infection than others.  Symptoms of infection depend on the type of illness a person develops. They may include:

  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Loose stools
  • Pain
  • Chills
  • Burning during urination

It is highly advised that medical attention is sought if symptoms persist for an extended period of time, and immediately received if they are accompanied by trouble breathing, signs of dehydration or swelling around the eyes.

There is no specific treatment for adenovirus infections; however, the risk of transmission can be reduced by taking preventative measures such as hand washing, avoiding contact with your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, staying home when sick, covering your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing and avoiding personal contact. The CDC also advises, that you “keep adequate levels of chlorine in swimming pools to prevent outbreaks of conjunctivitis caused by adenoviruses.”

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.