Adenoviruses are very common and can lead to other problems such as the common cold, sore throat, fever and even bronchitis. These ailments can also cause intestinal problems in some patients. People with weakened immune systems or cardiac disease are more at risk of the virus developing into something more serious such as bronchitis.
The adenovirus is spread from one person to the next by touching or shaking hands, sneezing, coughing or touching an object that has the adenovirus on it. This virus can last for some time on inanimate objects such as door knobs, sink faucets and toilets, and is resistant to many common disinfectants. It is important to know, too, that antibiotics do not work on viruses and there is no vaccine available to combat the adenovirus. If patients wash their hands frequently and cover their mouth and nose when they cough and sneeze, transmission of the disease will, in most cases, be avoided. If a person becomes infected with the adenovirus, bed rest and isolation from others is usually the best treatment. The illness usually passes after three to five days unless it has led to something more serious such as acute bronchitis.
Acute bronchitis is a respiratory disease that causes the lining of the bronchial tubes in the lungs to become inflamed, making it difficult for patients to take in air and oxygen. Difficulty breathing is usually seen with coughing that may be accompanied by phlegm. If the phlegm becomes extremely thick, it can be an indication of a bacterial infection that may require treatment by administering antibiotics. Acute bronchitis usually dissipates within a few days, though the patient may have a lingering cough for up to three weeks. Acute bronchitis is very common when thepatient is exhibiting cold symptoms or other other respiratory infections and can be caused by an adenovirus infection. If conjunctivitis is present along with bronchitis then the presence of the adenovirus can be assumed.
Bronchitis spreads easily and can be acute, lasting one to three weeks, or chronic, lasting as long as three months. The most common symptoms of chronic bronchitis are a cough accompanied by yellow sputum, tiredness, a low grade fever and occasionally shortness of breath. Chronic bronchitis can lead to complications including pneumonia, emphysema and even heart disease. Smoking is a big risk factor for developing chronic bronchitis and can make it more difficult to recover from the illness. Asthma may exacerbate the symptoms as well. A home humidifier can help keep the air moist and warm which can help break up mucus in the lungs, providing some relief. Inhaling steam over a sink of hot water can also be beneficial. Breathing exercises may be helpful for those with more severe symptoms. If a patient has trouble breathing or chest pain, they should call a physician immediately.