These are a group of viruses which cause a range of infections in humans which include gastroenteritis, conjunctivitis and several respiratory conditions.

However, they are more popularly known as a virus which causes the common cold.

These viruses are able to invade the soft tissues which line the intestines, urinary tract, eyes and airways. As a result of this they are implicated in many cases of childhood diarrhoea as well as colds and respiratory illnesses such as bronchitis.

These viruses tend to affect children more than adults.

The illness we are concerned with is gastroenteritis, in particular viral gastroenteritis.

Symptoms of gastroenteritis

These include:

  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Watery diarrhoea

How is this caused?

Gastroenteritis usually occurs from handling food after inadequate washing of the hands after visiting the bathroom. It also occurs via contaminated water or through person to person contact.

Children often contract this due to the fact that they are in close proximity to others which allows the virus to spread very easily. They can also get this from sharing toys with an infected child or from touching a surface which has already been infected.

Treatment for gastroenteritis

Most cases can be treated at home. This means ensuring that the child drinks plenty of fluids, combined with an oral re-hydration powder if necessary.

An oral re-hydration powder is designed to replace vitamins and minerals lost as a result of this illness.

But very young children may not be able to consume enough liquids in order to replace lost fluids. This puts them at risk of dehydration.

In these cases a GP may recommend their admittance to hospital where they will be given fluids intravenously.

Antibiotics are not prescribed as they do not work against this and any other type of virus. Plus in most cases the virus resolves itself after a few days without the need for medical treatment.

How contagious is adenovirus?

Very. It often occurs in places where large groups of people, especially children are gathered together. This includes schools, nurseries and play centres.

All it takes is for one child to handle a toy which has already been touched by an infected child which enables the virus to spread and fairly rapidly. The symptoms appear a couple of days after the initial contact.

Preventing adenoviral infections

It is impossible to prevent this from happening but there are ways of minimising the risk of it spreading to other children. This includes removing an infected child from a nursery or play group until his/her symptoms have eased; ensuring that you and other parents wash your hands regularly and keeping any shared areas and surfaces clean and tidy.

Food Poisoning Guide

Medic8® Guides

© Medic8® | All Rights Reserved