The United States was severely affected by the flu virus this season. But the same happened last season, and two seasons ago, and so on. The flu virus is common and even though it still makes victims year-after-year there are treatments and vaccines to keep it under control. However, there is another virus that looks like flu, acts like flu and spreads like flu, but it is not flu, and which is very resistant – the adenovirus.
What is the adenovirus?
The flu-like virus is named adenovirus and it’ very risky. In fact, the adenovirus is so risky, that the US Army recruits are vaccinated against the virus’s major strains.
However, the majority of people don’t get vaccinated against the adenovirus, even though it can cause severe infections in adults because the vaccines are not licesed for civilian-use.
Symptoms of the adenovirus
The adenovirus symptoms are similar to the flu ones and, often, people infected with the adenovirus are mistakenly diagnosed with influenza. The common adenovirus symptoms include:
- muscular pains
- high fever
Also, the adenovirus may cause:
- cough and breathing problems
- stomach upset
- eye infections
An adenovirus outbreak increases the victims of the flu
The adenovirus is not making victims by itself, on regular basis. There have been only 11 adenovirus-related deaths confirmed during the last massive outbreak, in 2007, in comparison with the flu outbreaks that kill between 12,000 and 50,000 people, annually.
However, when a flu outbreak and an adenovirus outbreak occur at the same time, the results could be severe.
The adenovirus is very resistant
There is no known good treatment against the adenovirus, even though the antiviral cidofovir showed improvements in severe infections cases.
The adenovirus is really hard to kill as it can live for up to 1-month on plastic and metal surfaces, and usual alcohol and chlorhexidine solutions don’t kill the virus easily. However, according to some tests, chlorine is killing the virus.