Adenoviruses are a group of viruses that cause infections of the respiratory tract, eyes, lungs, and digestive tract. This disease can affect anyone, but more often affects infants and toddlers.
In most cases, adenovirus causes a mild infection. However, adenovirus can also cause serious infections, especially if it occurs in people who have weak immune systems.
Currently, adenovirus is suspected as the cause of mysterious acute hepatitis. Mysterious acute hepatitis itself is hepatitis that attacks children under 16 years of age. According to the study, adenovirus was detected in 72% of the 126 patients who had undergone the examination.
Causes of Adenovirus
There are about more than 100 types of adenoviruses. Of these, about 49 types can infect humans.
Adenovirus can cause infections in various parts of the body, such as the respiratory tract, digestive tract, and eyes. Some infectious diseases that occur due to adenovirus are:
- Cough and cold
- Urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Gastrointestinal infections
Adenoviruses are highly contagious. This virus can spread in several ways, namely:
- Inhaling saliva droplets ( droplets ) of patients with adenovirus infection when sneezing or coughing
- Touching objects that have been contaminated with the virus, then touching your nose, mouth, or eyes without washing your hands
- Touching the feces of someone with an adenovirus infection, for example when changing a diaper
Adenovirus risk factors
Adenovirus can attack anyone. However, there are several factors that increase a person's risk of developing adenovirus, namely:
- Under 5 years old (toddler)
- Have a weak immune system, for example because you have HIV/AIDS
- Just had an organ transplant
- Live or settle in a crowded, slum, and poor sanitation environment
Symptoms of adenovirus infection generally appear 2–14 days after a person is exposed to the virus. Symptoms that appear can vary, depending on the type of adenovirus and the disease caused by the virus, including:
1. Symptoms of a cold cough :
- Sore throat
- Runny nose or stuffy nose
- Muscle ache
- Hard to breathe
2. Symptoms of bronchitis and pneumonia:
- Cough with phlegm
- Hard to breathe
- Mild fever and chills
- Discomfort in the chest
3. Symptoms of infection in the digestive tract:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach cramps
4. Symptoms of eye infection ( conjunctivitis ):
- Redness in the eyes
- Pain and feeling stuck in the eye
- Sensitive to light
- Opacity of the cornea
- Visual disturbance
Meanwhile, in patients with mysterious acute hepatitis, the initial symptoms that can arise are nausea, vomiting, severe diarrhea, and low-grade fever. If the condition worsens, the patient may also experience further symptoms such as:
- Darker colored or concentrated urine like tea
- Yellow eyes and skin
- Pale stools
- Loss of consciousness
When to go to the doctor
See a doctor immediately if you or your child experience symptoms of an adenovirus infection that get worse, such as:
- Respiratory disorders
- Swelling in the eye area
- Fever that doesn't go down in a few days
- Signs of dehydration , such as dry mouth and decreased urination
Because adenovirus is currently suspected as the cause of mysterious acute hepatitis, take your child to the doctor immediately if you experience early symptoms of the disease.
Mysterious acute hepatitis can get worse and cause further symptoms. Therefore, do not delay taking your child to the doctor so that it can be treated immediately.
If your child has decreased consciousness , immediately take him to the ER for help.
To diagnose adenovirus, the doctor will ask questions about the patient's symptoms and medical history. After that, the doctor will perform a thorough physical examination.
To further confirm the diagnosis, the doctor will perform several supporting examinations, namely:
- Blood and urine tests, to detect the presence of adenovirus by taking blood and urine samples
- Stool examination , to determine the presence of adenovirus in feces
- Antigen test, to detect proteins present on the outside (antigen) of the adenovirus
- PCR test , to detect the presence of adenovirus in the body through examination of samples of nasal mucus, throat, stool, or blood
- Chest X- ray, to see the condition of the heart and lungs more clearly
To diagnose mysterious acute hepatitis, doctors can perform hepatitis virus serology tests, to detect types of hepatitis A–E virus.
Generally, adenovirus only causes infections that are classified as mild and do not require special treatment. Treatment aims to relieve symptoms and prevent possible complications.
Some of the treatment methods are:
Self care at home
In most cases, adenovirus can be treated with some self-care at home, such as:
- Get enough rest
- Drink lots of water
- Eating a complete and balanced nutritional diet
- Using a nasal spray ( nasal rinse )
- Using a humidifier
- Using moisturizer in the nose and mouth area
Treatment by doctor
Although generally cause infections that are classified as mild, adenovirus can also cause severe infections. In this case, the doctor can perform several treatments, such as:
- Giving fluid infusion , to meet the needs of fluid intake
- Giving fever medicine, such as paracetamol , to treat fever
- Giving supplemental oxygen, such as a nasal tube or oxygen mask, to help with breathing
- Giving antiviral drugs, such as ribavirin and cidofovir, to inhibit the development of the virus, especially in patients with weak immune systems
If left untreated, adenovirus infection can cause several complications, namely:
- Chronic lung disease
- Severe infection
Patients with weak immune systems or have recently undergone organ transplants can also experience more severe complications. While in mysterious acute hepatitis, complications that can occur are liver damage to death.
There are several ways that can be done to prevent adenovirus infection, namely:
- Wash hands with soap and running water regularly. If there is no water, use a hand sanitizer that contains alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands.
- Avoid direct contact with people who are sick.
- Eat healthy and nutritionally balanced foods, and make sure the food is clean and cooked.
- Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before processing or eating.
If you experience symptoms similar to those of an adenovirus infection, take the following steps to avoid spreading it to others:
- Don't leave the house if you're sick.
- Do not share eating and drinking utensils with others.
- Wear a mask, especially if there are other people around.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when sneezing and coughing. If you don't have a tissue, cover your mouth and nose with your elbow crease.
- Wash hands regularly.