Go back to
Home » My Kolkata » News » Rise in adenovirus prevalence in Feb, half of 1,170 samples test positive


Rise in adenovirus prevalence in Feb, half of 1,170 samples test positive

‘Viruses spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. They transmit as aerosols,’ says a professor of paediatric medicine

Subhajoy Roy | Published 04.03.23, 06:45 AM
Representational image

Representational image

iStock photograph

More samples of children admitted to hospitals with viral infections tested positive for the adenovirus in February than in January, according to the results of tests conducted by the ICMR-National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED).

Nearly 50 per cent of the 1,170 swab samples analysed in February tested positive for the adenovirus, said an official of NICED, an institute under the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).


Of the 1,170 samples that were sent for analysis, 40 per cent were from the Dr BC Roy Post Graduate Institute of Paediatric Sciences, a government hospital that has become overburdened with patients suffering from respiratory distress. In January, 32 per cent of the 500 samples tested at NICED were detected with the adenovirus. Thirteen per cent were detected with the parainfluenza virus and 12 per cent with the rhinovirus, an official had earlier told The Telegraph.

The rise in the percentage of nasopharyngeal swab samples testing positive for the adenovirus corresponds to the rise in the number of severely ill children getting admitted to Dr BC Roy Institute in February.

An official of the health department said the hospital had functioned under intense pressure in February.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee issued an appeal on Thursday not to panic over the spread of adenovirus and other viral infections that cause respiratory problems as the state government has taken adequate measures for treatment.

West Bengal chief secretary H.K. Dwivedi said on Thursday that of the 5,213 children who had been admitted to hospitals with respiratory problems during the current viral surge, 12 had died.

“We received 1,170 samples in February. Of them, 49-50 per cent were positive for the adenovirus. The other viruses found were the rhinovirus, parainfluenza virus and the Influenza A virus,” said the NICED official.

“The majority of the samples came from government hospitals. Forty per cent of the total samples were from Dr BC Roy hospital. Some of the samples were from private hospitals, too."

The results showed that there had been a significant rise in the prevalence of the adenovirus in samples of children tested at the laboratory in February compared with January.

A senior official of the health department, however, said the samples analysed at the School of Tropical Medicine did not reveal such dominance of the adenovirus.

"NICED received a large number of samples from Dr BC Roy Institute, where the bulk of the severely ill children were treated. The samples tested at the School of Tropical Medicine showed an adenovirus prevalence varying between 25 and 30 per cent," said a senior official of the state health department.

Doctors have repeatedly said the viruses that have been detected in the swab samples that have been tested transmit in an identical manner.

“The viruses spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. They transmit as aerosols,” said Mihir Sarkar, a professor of paediatric medicine at the Calcutta Medical College and Hospital.

The state health department has also issued an advisory asking people to wash their hands and sick adults to stay away from children and the aged. Parents have been advised against sending sick children to school and to keep all children away from crowded places.

On Friday, senior officials of the state health department held another round of video conference with officials from various hospitals across the state.

“We repeated the same advice that hospitals should not refer children to the Dr BC Roy Post Graduate Institute of Paediatric Sciences unless the referral is absolutely necessary. The main problem is the overburdened condition of Dr BC Roy Institute. It is getting more patients than it can handle,” the official said.

Last updated on 04.03.23, 08:22 AM

More from My Kolkata