PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — We’ve been telling you about the massive flu outbreak this year, but not everyone with flu symptoms, may actually have the flu.
Instead, it could be something you’ve probably never heard of.
The Centers for Disease Control published a report this week about Adenovirus.
The military is vaccinated against it, and the report suggests maybe civilians should be, too, especially people in close quarters.
“Adenovirus is a very common virus,” said Dr. Ben Lawner, from Allegheny Health Network. “We see it a lot in the younger population which can be spread person to person, but typically it’s not as severe as the flu.”
While Dr. Lawner says cases of Adenovirus are often not as nasty as influenza, “I understand, given the severity of the flu season, why people are concerned.”
Lisa Washington’s Report:
Adenovirus symptoms include fever, sore throat, headache, body aches and diarrhea.
There is a vaccine, but it’s only licensed for military use.
“The reason for this is because obviously for military recruits who are younger, they’re cohorted into areas where they’re all together. So you have the potential with an airborne respiratory virus to get everybody sick,” said Dr. Lawner.
The author of the report says because doctors typically don’t test patients for it, it’s hard to tell how prevalent it actually is.
But the virus is reportedly believed to survive on some surfaces for as long as a month, so the advice to avoid getting sick is the same as with other infections.
“We always recommend if you’re in an area where people are sick, wear gloves, wash your hands before you touch your face,” said Dr. Lawner.
While this is the latest infection to be mentioned on the news, statistics show most reported cases are not as severe as the flu. The flu kills thousands of people a year in the U.S. alone, Adenovirus does not.