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Adenovirus. Picture courtesy of the-sceintist.com.


The reservoir for adenovirus is in humans. Adenoviruses have a worldwide distribution, and they are ubiquitous in the environment where contamination of human feces or sewage has occurred. Infections can occur throughout the year. Outbreaks have been more common in late winter, spring, and early summer.

Though most adenovirus infections are mild, fatality and a number of sequelae are associated with immunocompromised patients. Adenovirus is a very common infection, estimated to be responsible for between 2% and 5% of all respiratory infections. All ages are susceptible to adenovirus infection, but infection usually occurs during childhood.

Acute lower respiratory tract infection in children is a major worldwide health problem, and the virus is second only to rotavirus in terms of its significance as a cause of childhood gastroenteritis. In the winter, adenovirus has caused many cases of illness in military recruits, with about 25% requiring hospitalization for fever and lower respiratory tract disease. Some cases result in death.