Viruses (see VIRUS) containing double-stranded DNA; these cause around 5 per cent of clinically recognised respiratory illnesses. Of the 40 or so known types, only a few have been properly studied to establish how they produce disease. Adenoviruses cause fever and inﬂammation of the respiratory tract and mucous membranes of the eyes – symptoms resembling those of the common cold. They also cause ENTERITIS, haemorrhagic CYSTITIS and life-threatening infections in newborn babies. Infections are generally benign and self-limiting, and treatment is symptomatic and supportive, although the elderly and people with chronic chest conditions may develop secondary infections which require antibiotic treatment.
Article Categories:Medical Dictionary