Adenovirus spike causing high fevers in local children, sending some to emergency room

Posted at 11:41 PM, Jul 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-08 23:43:04-04

Doctors in metro Detroit say they are seeing a sudden increase in kids coming to the emergency room - sick with a virus that triggers dangerous and hard to break fevers.

It’s called an Adenovirus.  It is a virus we at 7 Action News learned is going around in metro Detroit when the little boy of Producer Scott Anderson got sick.

Normally, 20-month-old Ryan is a ball of energy.

So, when suddenly he stopped eating and playing - his dad knew something wasn’t right.

“The fever just brought him to a stop,” says Scott. “It is the only thing I have ever seen do it.”

Quickly - despite Tylenol - his temperature went up and up.

“Every three hours that fever would spike,” says Scott. “It was higher and higher and higher.”

When they arrived at the emergency room the first time - little Ryan’s fever was 103 degrees.

“At that point you are worrying is this going to lead to anything more serious,” says Scott.

Doctors said for Ryan - it led to severe dehydration.  They gave him IV fluids, lowering his temperature, and sent him home.

They told mom and dad - give him Tylenol and Motrin for his fever, Use cold compresses and warm baths and wait it out - hoping the temperature doesn’t get into the danger zone.

However TWO more times over the following days  - it did just that.

Mom and dad rushed him to the emergency room.

“The main characteristic of it is that recurring high fever,” says Scott. “That scary high fever.”

“The time to talk to your doctor about it is if you have fevers not going away,” says 7 Action News Chief Health Editor Dr. Partha Nandi. “If your child is dehydrated. If you child is less than 3 months of age you want to see a doctor.”

Nandi says Adenoviruses infect the membranes of the respiratory tract, digestive system, and eyes - leading to pneumonia, pink eye, cold, and stomach flu like symptoms.

It is common to see outbreaks in the summer - perhaps because of how it is spread.

“Even if your child touches a surface. You can get it from swimming pools and even lakes,” says Nandi. “It can spread quickly if you don’t put a stop to it.

That means keeping your little one away from other kids - who are more susceptible than adults.

As for Ryan - more than a week after he got sick - he is slowly feeling better.
“It looks like he is back,” says Scott. “He is still a little warm, but i will take a little warm over a 106 degree fever any day.

For parents like Scott - the tough thing about the Adenovirus is that there is no medicine that fights it.  Antibiotics don’t help.  Parents simply have to wait it out - treating the symptoms - such as the fever.