Viruses are unique in that they are only able to replicate inside the cells of other organisms. Ubiquitous in the environment, these small, infectious particles cause many familiar diseases such as the common cold, the flu, and chickenpox. Depending on the type, they can lead to symptoms from sore throats to seizures. Adenoviruses — one of the most common families of viruses — often cause respiratory illness. Fortunately, most of these infections are mild and self-limiting.
1. What are Adenoviruses?
Adenoviruses are a group of common viruses that typically infect the membranes of the respiratory tract; however, they can also affect the eyes, urinary tract, nervous system, and intestines. Discovered in the early 1950’s, they cause illnesses such as the common cold, bronchitis, pneumonia, and conjunctivitis. While most cases are mild, there is a possibility of severe disease, particularly in those with compromised immune systems.