Adenovirus infection is an infectious disease that is very easily transmitted and affects the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract, eyes, intestines and lymphatic system. It can cause dangerous complications, requires competent surgical treatment.
Adenoviruses were discovered as a result of research by the scientist W. Rowe. The virus was isolated from the tonsils, hence the name. Later, viruses were found in other respiratory and visual organs. The studies were continued by American specialists who found adenoviruses in the tissues of the lymph nodes.
Adenoviruses are a whole group of viruses that have a common nature, but differ from each other and cause different diseases. They are resistant to aggressive effects, they can live in water for more than two weeks, and in cold water (about four degrees) - up to two years, in the air, especially in stuffy, warm rooms - for more than a month, even medicinal solutions do not kill them.
You can destroy adenoviruses with high temperature, ultraviolet light, chlorine.
Scientists distinguish sixty-two types and forty-nine types of the virus, which are divided into seven groups - A, B, C, D, E, F, G. Different types of virus cause different diseases: respiratory, conjunctivitis, damage to the digestive system, lymphatic system.
All types of adenovirus have in common that they infect the mucous membranes.
Symptoms of adenovirus infection are similar to the common cold and are characterized by lacrimation and itching in the eyes, nasal discharge, sore throat, cough, and headache. Discomfort in the stomach, intestines, urinary tract is possible.
The first symptoms may resemble flu-like symptoms - with high fever, inflammation of the lymph nodes, chills and others.
Patients lose their appetite, vomiting and diarrhea are possible. As a rule, adenovirus infection is accompanied by eye inflammation - conjunctivitis.
The usual duration of symptoms is one to two days.
In children, all symptoms are more pronounced than in adults, and loose stools, vomiting, and abdominal pain are more likely. In addition, all symptoms in children can appear suddenly, and the course of the disease can be very violent.
Children from six months to five years old are at risk. Up to six months, babies still have residual immunity, which protects them from the negative effects of the environment. By the age of five, their own immunity is formed. And the time period between them is the time of increased sensitivity to diseases, including adenovirus.
Incubation and acute periods
In case of respiratory tract damage, the incubation period is from two days to two weeks. If the infection is intestinal - three to ten days.
Typically, adenoviral infections resolve within five days, but under certain conditions, this period can be longer. With a weakened immune system and the absence of therapy, the patient may suffer for several weeks.
Typically, the diagnosis is made based on the summation of the symptoms. However, it is possible to carry out diagnostics in the laboratory. Among the research methods for determining adenovirus are clinical and biochemical blood tests, antigen tests, serological tests, and sputum tests. If pneumonia is suspected, X-rays are used.
There is no specific treatment for adenovirus infection. The same methods are used as for other viral infections, designed primarily to alleviate the patient's condition. Patients need to observe bed rest, minimize contact with others, strict adherence to hygiene, and drinking. When the temperature rises, antipyretic drugs are used. If a runny nose is present, vasodilating drops and sprays. Drops and ointments for the eyes - if there are symptoms of conjunctivitis, expectorants for coughs and sore throat. It is also recommended to use humidifiers in the apartment.
When complications arise, antibiotics and special treatments are used. In the most difficult cases, the patient is hospitalized and treated in a hospital.
When the first symptoms occur, it is important to immediately consult a doctor and in no case self-medicate.
The main complications that the virus can cause are pneumonia, diseases of the hearing and vision organs, meningitis.
First of all, young children are susceptible to complications (and their pneumonia can develop rapidly, therefore, special attention and strict adherence to all recommendations of the attending physician is required), people of retirement age, pregnant and lactating women, people affected by HIV and AIDS, cancer patients, as well as those who have reduced immunity.
Like other viral infections, adenovirus can be transmitted by sneezing and coughing through the air. Infection is also possible not directly from the carrier - the virus persists for a long time on the surface of objects with which the patient has come into contact.
Like intestinal infections, adenovirus can be called dirty hand disease. If a healthy person touches lips, nose or eyes with dirty hands, the infection enters the body.
Now scientists suggest that you can get infected not only from people, but also from animals. But it is too early to argue that this is true - research continues.
A person who has recovered from the virus remains a carrier of the infection for up to one and a half months after recovery. This should be taken into account by family members and people from the immediate environment of the patient. The patient himself should not forget about this - the use of cold drinks and foods, hypothermia, decreased immunity can cause a relapse of the disease.
To avoid contracting an adenovirus infection, no special means are used. If the immune system is in order, the body can cope with the virus, even if the person has been in contact with a sick person. But it is still not worth neglecting prevention.
If immunity is reduced, and this most often occurs in autumn, winter and early spring, it is necessary to enrich the diet with vitamins, fresh foods, eat regularly and take vitamins. It is also important to dress appropriately for the weather and avoid overheating and hypothermia.
It is very important to observe hygiene to prevent the disease:
- wash your hands as often as possible, especially before eating and after visiting public places;
- disinfection of all objects touched by the patient;
- do not touch your face, especially if you have not washed your hands;
- use a mask when visiting public places;
- use your own dishes, towels, other household and hygiene items;
- if there is a sick person in the family, thoroughly disinfect his belongings. Effective washing at high temperatures and ironing on the "cotton" mode;
- regular ventilation of the room;
- healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise, walks in the fresh air, absence of bad habits, proper nutrition are the best protection against any disease.
Diseases caused by adenovirus rarely reach epidemic proportions, but outbreaks of the disease can occur. Typically, adenovirus is most aggressive during the cold season and off-season. But you can get infected and get sick at any time of the year.
There is a vaccine against adenovirus. It is a capsule with an active substance, is taken orally and minimizes the risk of contracting an adenovirus infection. But it is intended only for citizens of a certain age group - from seventeen to fifty years old. Thus, people at risk are currently deprived of additional protection against the virus.