It’s Not the Flu?

AdenovirusIf you believe you’re one of the unlucky ones who caught a nasty flu bug this season, you might have to think again. There’s a virus going around that ‘feels’ like the flu and ‘acts’ like the flu…..but it isn’t the flu! It’s the adenovirus.

From in Tucson:

There’s another virus out there that could be adding to the seasonal misery, but it’s not being identified.

The virus is called adenovirus, and it can cause very severe flu-like symptoms. It’s so risky that the U.S. military vaccinates recruits against two major strains.

But most people are not vaccinated against adenovirus, and doctor’s offices don’t test for it. added, “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.

NBC News quoted Adriana Kajon, an infectious disease specialist at the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute in Albuquerque, as saying – “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. 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.”

According to, “the vaccine may benefit people at high risk of contracting the virus, such as patients with lung disease and others with compromised immune systems, but it may even benefit the general population.” pointed out that while the adenovirus can lead to serious health issues such as encephalitis and meningitis –

“…most adenovirus infections are mild, with symptoms usually lasting about 10 days, according to the CDC. And for most patients, home remedies and over-the-counter medicines to relieve the symptoms will be the only treatment necessary.”

Share your thoughts on the adenovirus and whether you believe the vaccine should be available to everyone, or if you think too much is being made about this flu-like virus. Generating meaningful conversations around the health issues making headlines is another way we are working toward our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!

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