Prevention & Treatment
To prevent healthcare-associated outbreaks of adenovirus infections, such as epidemic keratoconjunctivitis, health care providers should strictly follow infection control practices, including
- contact and droplet precautions
- environmental cleaning
- promptly respond to and report clusters of cases
For suspected cases of pneumonia caused by adenovirus infection, healthcare providers should follow the guidelines for preventing healthcare-associated pneumonia. See 2007 Guideline for Isolation Precautions: Preventing Transmission of Infectious Agents in Healthcare Settings for more information.
Adenoviruses are resistant to many common disinfectants and can remain infectious for long periods on environmental surfaces and medical instruments. To prevent spread of adenoviruses use an EPA-registered disinfectant on surfaces that is effective at killing adenoviruses and compatible with the surfaces and equipment. Disinfectants effective against norovirus should also be effective against adenoviruses. See EPA List G for these disinfectants.
For more information on infection prevention and disinfection, see:
CDC’s new resource, Prevent EKC, provides guidance on how to disinfect surfaces and equipment to help prevent and control outbreaks of epidemic keratoconjunctivitis (EKC) in eye clinics. EKC is a severe and highly contagious form of viral conjunctivitis (pink eye). EKC is caused by adenoviruses, which are often resistant to many disinfectants.
Currently, there is no adenovirus vaccine available for the general public.
A live, oral vaccine against adenovirus types 4 and 7 is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for U.S. military personnel ages 17 through 50 who may be at higher risk for infection from these two adenovirus types. The vaccine is recommended by the U.S. Department of Defense for military recruits entering basic training in order to prevent acute respiratory disease. It may also be recommended for other military personnel at high risk for adenovirus infection. For more information about the vaccine, see Adenovirus Vaccine Information Statement (VIS).
There is no specific treatment for people with adenovirus infection. Most adenovirus infections are mild and don’t require any medical care; clinical care of adenovirus infections includes treatment of symptoms and complications. Cidofovir has been used to treat severe adenovirus infections in people with immunocompromised systems in specific situations, however there are no FDA-approved antiviral drugs for adenovirus treatment.
For more information, see
- Adenovirus Vaccine Information Statement (VIS)
- Guidelines for Preventing Health-Care—Associated Pneumonia, 2003, Recommendations of CDC and the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee
- CDC. Adenovirus-associated epidemic keratoconjunctivitis outbreaks — four states, 2008–2010. MMWR. 2013;62(32);637-41.