Adenovirus infection in Kolkata

Mysterious Flu -Adenovirus Threat in West Bengal

Kolkata is facing mysterious flu like infection and as of today the number of cases has been increased. Physicians across hospitals in India are also reporting adenovirus cases. The sickness is identified as caused by Adenovirus. Just like flu, this condition is spreading through contacts and children are the main victims. Children of all ages particularly school going young children are at higher risk of contacting the adenovirus. This sickness main symptom is flu-like respiratory illness. In Mumbai has reported significant rise in the cases, hospitalization and admission to ICU.

According to Dr Soonu Udani, Medical Director, NH SRCC Children’s Hospital, Mumbai is concerned with the number of hospitalizations, “There are many children being admitted with pneumonia who show adenovirus on the PCR from the lungs. These are very sick children with prolonged illness and need prolonged artificial ventilation. Many are showing signs of severe lung damage even on recovery. Our patient profile too is of prolonged cough for 4-6 weeks and high fever lasting for over a week. Most are not tested for the virus. Masking and cough hygiene is the only prevention.”

Generally adenovirus is treated with symptomatic treatment and patients will recover within days. This time however, patients are showing prolonged viral symptoms. Children who are discharged from hospital are facing certain health complications due to much weekend immune system. Disturbed sleep due to cough, breathlessness, fever for many days – these symptoms are indicators that child need immediate attention. According to health experts, the precautions that parents and public need to take is “ same precautions that was followed during covid pandemic

What are general symptoms, precautions and treatment for adenovirus sickness? As per CDC-,

Adenoviruses can cause a wide range of illnesses such as

  1. common cold or flu-like symptoms
  2. fever
  3. sore throat
  4. acute bronchitis (inflammation of the airways of the lungs, sometimes called a “chest cold”)
  5. pneumonia (infection of the lungs)
  6. pink eye (conjunctivitis)
  7. acute gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach or intestines causing diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and stomach pain)

Less common symptoms of adenovirus infection include

  1. bladder inflammation or infection
  2. neurologic disease (conditions that affect the brain and spinal cord)


Adenoviruses are usually spread from an infected person to others through

  • close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • the air by coughing and sneezing
  • touching an object or surface with adenoviruses on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands
  • Some adenoviruses can spread through an infected person’s stool, for example, during diaper changing. Adenovirus can also spread through the water, such as swimming pools, but this is less common.

Length of Transmission

Sometimes the virus can be shed (released from the body) for a long time after a person recovers from an adenovirus infection, especially among people who have weakened immune systems. This “virus shedding” usually occurs without any symptoms, even though the person can still spread adenovirus to other people.

If you’re sick you can help protect others:

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue or your upper shirt sleeve, not your hands.
  • Avoid sharing cups and eating utensils with others.
  • Refrain from kissing others.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the bathroom.
  • Frequent handwashing is especially important in childcare settings and healthcare facilities.

There are no approved antiviral medicines and no specific treatment for people with adenovirus infection. Most adenovirus infections are mild and may be managed with rest and over-the-counter pain medicines or fever reducers to help relieve symptoms. Always read the label and use medications as directed.

If you have concerns, you should speak with your healthcare provider /doctor.

Image credit: Image by AkshayaPatra Foundation from Pixabay (cc by 0)

Author: Sumana Rao | Posted on: March 14, 2023

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