Frequently Asked Questions: What you should know about adenovirus infection

Frequently Asked Questions: What you should know about adenovirus infection

Children can easily become infected with adenovirus, which is highly contagious. But what does adenovirus infection mean? Jacob Musk, MD, a press spokesperson for the Federal Association of Pediatricians, explains to Bayerischer Rundfunk which symptoms occur in children in particular, what parents should do if their children become ill during and after an infection and how they can best protect them from contracting the disease. Also more about virus transmissibility, duration of infection and adenoviruses in general.

What are adenoviruses?

Adenoviruses belong to the Adenoviridae family. Only a fraction of the adenovirus species that occur can cause disease in humans. They are also referred to as human adenoviruses.

How are adenoviruses found?

“Adenovirus infection is widespread worldwide. Seasonal accumulation is not known. It is not uncommon, especially in community facilities, for local accumulations to occur, even small epidemics,” Dass writes. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) on its website. sea Federal Center for Health Education (BzgA) Viruses can stick to objects at room temperature for a few weeks and remain infectious during this time.

How are adenoviruses transmitted?

Adenoviruses are usually transmitted by smear, and sometimes by droplet infection. Infection usually occurs through hands contaminated with the virus or objects, such as towels, that the virus can stick to. Infection is also possible with eye inflammation – if the patient first touches his infected eye with his hand, and then gives another person the hand contaminated with the virus.

Can adults also get adenoviruses?

Adenovirus infection is not a disease that only occurs in children. Adults can also contract the virus and become ill.

What are the typical symptoms in children and which may occur in general?

“My typical in children is actually eye infections, which are usually accompanied by redness of the conjunctiva (conjunctiva) and also with mucus formation,” explains pediatrician Musk to BR.

Musk says cold symptoms or so-called abdominal symptoms, such as abdominal pain and diarrhea, can also occur after infection with adenoviruses. the Hanover Medical School Lead by possible clinical images Nor hepatitisand brain, urinary tract, and lungs, and notes that in healthy adults “adenovirus infection usually has no or only mild symptoms.”

How dangerous is an adenovirus infection?

According to Mask, adenovirus infection in children is usually harmless and self-healing, that is, it heals on its own. In severe immunosuppression, that is, in people with a weakened or weakened immune system According to RKI It is very rarely life-threatening, spreading infection with multiple organs involved.

How long is the infection?

According to Musk’s experience, adenovirus infections “typically last about two weeks.” The incubation period, meaning the time from infection to the first symptoms appear, is five to twelve days for adenocarcinoma conjunctivitis, an eye infection — the most common disease caused by the virus — according to the RKI.

What can parents do for their children – during and after the injury?

For the Berlin pediatrician, the treatment of adenovirus infection should be “purely symptomatic and depend on the symptoms present”. This means, for example: juices for pain and fever. In the case of so-called abdominal symptoms, such as abdominal pain and gastrointestinal complaints, parents should ensure that their children drink enough fluids. However, the young doctor confirms: “As a general rule, no medication should be used.”

The doctor also recommends:[…] Of course, always healthy food and fresh air, as well as light exercise, and not sports, can be beneficial, so short walks in the fresh air.

How do you protect yourself from infection? advice

The most important thing, Muske advises, is hygiene measures such as hand washing, “so that a highly contagious infection does not spread.” Also: Anyone who is sick should stay home until the inflammation subsides, according to the Federal Center for Health Education (BzgA). Their website is on the topic of infection protection As another tip to protect against adenovirus infection.

Can adenovirus infection be reported?

It should only be reported to the health department if adenoviruses are detected in a lab test in an eye swab, the so-called conjunctival swab.

Are there currently many adenovirus infections in children and adolescents?

Pediatrician Jacob Musk cannot name an exact number of infections in children and adolescents caused by adenoviruses from his practice, because he and his colleagues “have not typically looked for pathogens in, say, swabs” in illnesses caused by viruses. “But the feeling is that these viruses are more common right now,” Musk told BR, adding: “At the beginning of the year we saw a large number of colds that were also caused by adenoviruses.”


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