Adenovirus – Transmission, Diagnosis, Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention

Why Adenovirus is called as killer cold virus? Let’s find out more about this deadly virus.

Adenoviruses refer to a group of viruses that cause infection in the membranes of the respiratory tract, the intestines, the eyes and the urinary tract.

They are responsible for high prevalence of deaths and hospitalizations of patients affected by it and hence called as “killer cold virus”.         

How Adenovirus is transmitted

The adenoviruses are usually transmitted via aerial route similarly to common cold.

                    Adenoviruses are transmitted from one infected person to other via coughing or sneezing.

                    Individuals may touch any area infected by adenoviruses and then touch their mouth, nose, or eyes.

                    Infected person may sneezes or coughs on various items that may be later touched by other people.


Diagnosis of Adenovirus

The initial diagnosis of adenovirus is done by following ways.

                    Medical History of patient

                    Physical exam

                    X-ray of the infected region

                    Association with Ad14-diagnosed patients


The confirmative diagnosis is done by isolating the virus the infected patient and carrying the following tests.

                    Antigen detection

                    Polymerase chain reaction assay

                    Virus isolation and serology

                    Adenovirus typing

                    Fluids and PCR tests


Symptoms of Adenovirus Infection

The symptoms of adenovirus infection may comprise of following respiratory tract symptoms.

                    Common cold syndrome such as cough, runny nose, mild fever

                    Symptoms of Pneumonia

                    Symptoms of Croup

                    Symptoms of Bronchitis


The symptoms are usually present only for three to five days; however in severe cases like Pneumonia patients may require hospitalisation. Also, apart from respiratory tract illness,

Adenoviruses may develop symptoms related to eye, bladder, and GI problems.

Treatment of Adenovirus Infection

The treatment of Adenovirus infection in most of the cases does not require antibiotics or other medications. The patients can get rid of the virus infection over few days. The efforts are made for keeping the patient comfortable during the time the infection lasts.

                    There is no such virus-specific treatment therapy of adenovirus infections.

                    Most of the infections are mild in nature and require only symptomatic treatment.

                    The serious adenovirus illnesses are managed only by treating symptoms of the infection.

                    Treatment may include supportive care, taking proper rest, plenty of fluids.

                    Patients may be given drugs like acetaminophen for reducing fever. Aspirin should not be given to children.

                    For respiratory tract diseases, a cool-mist humidifier assists in loosening mucus and helps in breathing comfortably.

                    For children under the age of six months, a bulb syringe can be applied for clearing the nose.

                    Severe cases need intensive care and respiratory assistance such as mechanical breathing support.

                    Symptoms of conjunctivitis can be relieved by using warm compresses and a topical eye ointment drops.



                    Maintaining the good hygiene goes a long way in preventing the spread of the infection

                    Effective infection-control practices is needed for preventing adenovirus-associated diseases

                    Maintaining adequate levels of chlorination in swimming pool prevents adenovirus conjunctivitis.