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Adenovirus Competing With Flu to Make Us Sick

Adenovirus Competing With Flu to Make Us Sick

By    |   Wednesday, 31 January 2018 03:39 PM

The adenovirus is competing with the flu to make us sick, but most have not heard of the bug and the vaccine used to stop its spread is licensed only for the military, according to USA Today.

The adenovirus feels like the flu, with symptoms that include fever, sore throat and diarrhea, noted the newspaper. A new report, published this week by the Centers for Disease Control journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, said that the military-used vaccine should be made available for civilian use, USA Today said.

According to the CDC, the adenovirus can lead to everything from the common cold, to conjunctivitis, bladder inflammation or infection, inflammation of stomach and intestines (gastroenteritis), and neurologic disease, conditions that affect the brain and spinal cord.

USA Today reported that a surge of the adenovirus in military training camps caused the Department of Defense to reinstate its vaccine in 2011, which resulted in "dramatically reducing" its cases.

The new CDC study concludes that adenovirus type 4 virus, discovered during a military outbreak in the 1950s, could act as an underestimated cause of acute respiratory disease among civilian adults, USA Today said.

Adriana Kajon, an infectious disease specialist at the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico, told NBC News that doctors often don't test for the disease.

"Unless you look for it or you suspect it's circulating or you are using diagnostic testing capabilities that can tell it apart, you are going to miss it, especially during flu season," Kajon told NBC News. "We are seeing severe adult infections.

"That's a big deal, especially for a disease that by all means is vaccine preventable. But this vaccine is not licensed to be used in civilians," Kajon continued.

One of the biggest distinctions between the flu and the adenovirus is how much more severe the flu is. CBS News reported that according to CDC figures, some 56,000 people died from the flu in 2014-15 season and that this year could rival that.

The CDC reported 10 adenovirus deaths in 2007, which was a bad year for the disease, Reuters reported then.

"Unfortunately, it all comes down to the perception of having a market," Kajon told NBC News.

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Adenovirus, which carries symptoms similar to those of the flu, is making the rounds, sickening people who may not know what is causing their illness.
adenovirus, flu, sick, virus
Wednesday, 31 January 2018 03:39 PM
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