What is an adenovirus?

Adenoviruses are a group of common viruses that infect the lining of your eyes, airways and lungs, intestines, urinary tract, and nervous system. In general, adenoviruses are common causes of fever, coughs, sore throats, diarrhea and conjunctivitis.

Adenoviruses are medium-sized (90–100 nm), nonenveloped (without an outer lipid bilayer) viruses with an icosahedral nucleocapsid containing a double stranded DNA genome. Their name derives from their initial isolation from human adenoids in 1953.

You can get infected with an adenovirus from either exposure to another person who has the virus or from touching a surface or object that is contaminated with the virus. You can breathe in virus in droplets in the air from a person who coughs or sneezes.

There is no specific treatment or vaccine available to prevent adenovirus infection. Most adenovirus infections are mild and may require only care to help relieve symptoms, such as over-the-counter pain medicines or fever reducers.

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