Adenovirus Infections | Diagnosis & Treatment

How is an adenovirus diagnosed?

In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, your child's doctor may use these tests:

  • blood work
  • nasal swab
  • stool culture
  • chest x-ray

What are the treatment options for an adenovirus?

At home, the best thing you can do is relieve your child's symptoms associated with the infection and wait until it passes. Because the infection is caused by a virus, antibiotics don't work.

Traditional treatments for adenovirus infections include:

Drinking lots of fluids

  • It essential to keep your child hydrated.
  • Water, formula, breast milk and/or special electrolyte-containing fluids (fluids containing sugars and salts) such as Pedialyte, are good choices.
  • Very young children should not be hydrated with soda, juices or sports drinks.
  • If necessary, we may need to give your child an intravenous (IV) line to give your child fluids and essential electrolytes.

Medications

  • may be used to open your child's airways
  • often given in an aerosol mist by a mask or through an inhaler

Supplemental oxygen

  • given through a mask, nasal prongs or an oxygen tent

Mechanical ventilation

  • If a child becomes very ill, she may need mechanical ventilation or a respirator to assist with breathing for a period of time.

Some children may develop severe enough dehydration to require hospitalization. If this happens, you child may need:

  • intravenous (IV) fluids
  • nasogastric (NG) tube feedings (a small tube is placed into your child's stomach through her nose so that doctors can give her formula or fluids)
  • blood work (to measure your child's electrolyte levels - sugar, salt and other chemicals in the blood)