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Adenovirus-hit children vulnerable to bronchiolitis, say doctors

Kolkata: Children affected with adenovirus are a cause of concern for the city doctors as the affected patients often develop respiratory problems even after they are released from the hospitals.

According to the doctors, the children, who are once affected with adenovirus, are later developing serious lung infection which the doctors termed as 'bronchiolitis obliterans (BO).

Otherwise known as popcorn lung and constrictive bronchiolitis, the disease causes obstruction to the smallest airways of the lungs (bronchioles) due to inflammation. Symptoms include a dry cough, shortness of breath and feeling tired.

The affected children are developing lung infection, which eventually leads to pneumonia.

Children are more susceptible to the virus due to their low immunity. The infection can spread fast among the children who tend to be in close contact with the affected ones. Earlier, it was difficult to identify the virus. Respiratory problem, sore throat, fever, persisting cough and cold are the signs of the virus.

It has also been learnt that some children and a few elderly patients have been under

medication at various hospitals in the city with similar symptoms.

More than 100 children have been affected with adenovirus in past couple of months.

What is worrying for the doctors is that many of the children who return home after being cured, again complaining respiratory distress.

As there is no specific medicines for the disease the situation is further complicated.

It may be mentioned here that more than 20 babies were admitted at the Institute of Child Health with adenovirus most of them have been released from the hospital after treatment. Many other private hospitals in the city also admitted patients with the same disease.

The babies who have been admitted to the hospital are aged between four months and one year.

Adenovirus can be a serious cause when it comes to morbidity and mortality. According to a senior official of a private hospital in Park Circus, there is also a crisis of influenza vaccine due to the rising number of viral infection patients in the past three months.

There is no proper vaccine for adenovirus and hence the doctors are administering other medicines to the patients.

If fever keeps recurring despite medication, the patient should be taken to the hospital and also if they complain of irritation in eyes or muscle pain.

Adenovirus appears to be like a common respiratory tract infection.

Antibiotics do not properly work when the patient is affected with this virus. If the symptoms persist for more than two to three days, the cause should get investigated without further delay, a senior official of the private hospital said.

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