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A to Z: Adenovirus

Adenoviruses are a group of viruses that can infect the linings of the respiratory tract, eyes, intestines, and urinary tract.

More to Know

Adenoviral infections can affect anyone, but are most common in babies and young children. By the time most kids are 10 years old, they've have had at least one adenovirus infection.

Adenoviruses can cause many symptoms and illnesses, including runny nose, fever, bronchitis, sore throat, cough, and pneumonia. Pinkeye (conjunctivitis), diarrhea, bladder infections, and infection of the stomach and intestines (gastroenteritis) also can be related to adenoviruses.

Kids in childcare are at risk for adenovirus infections because the viruses are so contagious. They can be spread through contact with infected people, the air (sneezing and coughing), and by touching an infected object or surface.

Washing hands often and well and keeping surfaces clean can help protect against getting an adenovirus infection.

Keep in Mind

Complications can happen with adenovirus infections, especially in infants and people with weak immune systems. But most people won't become seriously ill. With rest and plenty of fluids, most feel better in about a week.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.

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