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Doc Talk | Illnesses linked to the adenovirus

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It's that time of year when the likelihood of getting sick is higher. While illnesses like bronchitis and pneumonia are bacterial, their causes could originate from the adenovirus.

It can also cause a number of things like diarrhea or pink eye and it typically appears around this time of year.

"During when the weather is changing from fall to winter season," said Dr. Ena Saini, an Infectious Disease Specialist at Geisinger Holy Spirit.

People who are at greatest risk for adenovirus are younger kids and the elderly, especially those with weaker immune systems.

"Means they do not have the capability to fight any infections," said Dr. Saini.

This virus has been around for years, but with greater medical technology more can be done.

"Nowadays we have better capability of diagnosing these viruses with all these new PCR techniques," said Dr. Saini.

Which includes rapid testing: "Which we can do within minutes and as soon as the patient comes in does a small test."

Unfortunately, there is no treatment for the actual virus. It is more about caring for yourself and preventative measures that go a longer way.

"The most significant appropriate hand washing," said Dr. Saini.

This will greatly drop the chance of contracting the virus.

"Because the way this virus spreads is what we call fecal order transmission," explained Dr. Saini.

This transmission is especially common with children: "Kids can share this virus both with their saliva as well as through rectal secretions," said Dr. Saini. "Good hand hygiene is always helpful."

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