Adenovirus spike in West Bengal: What are its symptoms and treatment?

Adenovirus is a life-threatening condition that is typically transmitted from one person to another via physical contact. (Photo courtesy: Getty Images)

Cases of adenovirus have increased in West Bengal. Know all about the symptoms and treatment for the disease.

In Short

  • A spike in adenovirus cases among children has been witnesses in West Bengal.
  • Adenovirus has common cold and flu-like symptoms.
  • There is no special treatment for adenovirus.

By Daphne Clarance: West Bengal is witnessing a spike in adenovirus cases with pediatric wards in hospitals filling up quickly. At least 30 per cent of samples sent to the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (ICMR-NICED) in Kolkata since January have tested positive for the virus, health officials say.

An advisory has been issued to health professionals to keep a watchful eye on symptoms that could be potential cases in order to identify and treat the disease in the state.

According to Center’s for Disease Control and Prevention, adenovirus can cause mild cold or flu-like illness and infect persons of all ages. It is a life-threatening condition that is typically transmitted from one person to another via physical contact like touching, shaking hands, coughing and sneezing into the air.


Adenoviruses are medium-sized and nonenveloped viruses that can cause a range of infections mostly, common cold or flu. Researchers have identified around 50 types of adenoviruses that can infect humans. Infections can occur throughout the year but then tend to peak in winter.

People with weakened immune systems or existing respiratory or cardiac disease are at higher risk of developing severe illness from adenovirus infection.


Common symptoms include common cold, fever, sore throat, acute bronchitis (inflammation of the airways of the lungs, sometimes called ‘chest cold’), pneumonia (infection of lungs), pink eye (conjunctivitis), and acute gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach or intestines causing diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea and stomach pain).

Other symptoms that aren’t so common could include bladder infection or neurologic disease (conditions that affect the brain and spinal cord).


There is no special treatment for adenovirus. Approved vaccines or antiviral medicines specifically for this disease are unavailable. However, over-the-counter painkillers and medications to tackle symptoms can be bought. To prevent the disease, the best way to avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Sanitise your hands and surroundings whenever possible.

However, a vaccine does exist which is only used by the US military.

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