What is Adenovirus? Symptoms?

What is Adenovirus? Symptoms?

There are several viruses that can cause a cold, and one of the most common is adenovirus. Likewise, there are many different types of adenoviruses. While most cause a cold that is relatively mild and only lasts about a week, the disease caused by a strain (adenovirus 14) is much more worrisome. Adenovirus 14 is unusual because it causes even young, healthy people to become seriously ill and in a few cases die. However, Adenovirus 14 is also referred to as lethal cold by various media outlets.

Adenovirus 14 Symptoms

Adenovirus 14 typically causes cold-like symptoms, but can also cause serious concerns such as pneumonia. More serious consequences occur when the virus progresses rapidly and violently. Generally, adenoviruses cause many symptoms and complications, including:

  • Chill
  • Throat ache


Lung inflammation

  • Diarrhea
  • Fire

Conjunctivitis (pink eye)

Having any of these does not necessarily mean you have adenovirus 14. When symptoms are especially severe or worsen, a healthcare professional should be consulted.

Adenovirus 14 History

Adenoviwas first described in the 1950s, but it mutated and appeared in its more virulent form in 2005. From 2006 to 2007, adenovirus subtype B2 serotype 14 was detected in outbreaks in New York, Oregon, Washington, and Texas and was associated with 10. During this period, deaths and 140 respiratory diseases occurred. Since then, this virus has been detected in occasional outbreaks in the military and the general public. Like all colds, this deadly cold spreads through droplet transmission. This means that the virus lives in the mouth and nasal secretions and spreads when these secretions pass from one person to another. This can occur when people have close contact, such as touching or shaking hands. Sneezing, coughing, and sharing drinks or utensils are also common methods of droplet transmission. Touching an object or surface with adenovirus and then touching the face without washing hands can also cause infection. Although less common, adenoviruses can also be spread through feces, for example when changing diapers, or by water, for example in a public swimming pool.

Adenovirus 14 Diagnosis

Testing for adenovirus 14 is not necessary as it is just cold symptoms. When a severe illness occurs and the cause cannot be found, the healthcare provider may decide to test the virus after evaluating symptoms. In addition, the doctor evaluates the person for other conditions such as pneumonia, upper respiratory tract infections or conjunctivitis.

Adenovirus 14 Treatment

Currently, there is no FDA-approved treatment plan for adenovirus. Infections are usually mild and do not require medical care unless complications from a severe infection are a concern for people with weakened immune systems such as HIV / AIDS and cancer patients.

The best way to avoid or avoid spreading adenovirus 14 and other similarly transmitted colds and diseases is to follow hygiene rules. Some of these hygiene rules are as follows:

  • Washing the hands with soap for at least 20 seconds.
  • Using hand sanitizer when water and soap are not accessible

Covering the mouth when coughing or sneezing and using the elbow bend instead of the hand)

  • Sick people pay attention to isolation as much as possible
  • avoiding touching the nose, eyes, and mouth
  • Not sharing personal use items such as toothbrushes or cups

Adenovirus 14 isn’t the only species that can cause serious complications and outbreaks. The US military is recruiting outside for adenoviruses 4 and 7 to reduce these incidents. However, there is no vaccine for adenovirus 14.

New EKC Infection Control Resource

CDC’s new resource Prevent EKC provides guidance on how to disinfect surfaces and equipment to help prevent and control epidemic keratoconjunctivitis (EKC) outbreaks in eye clinics. EKC is a severe and highly contagious form of viral conjunctivitis (pink eye). EKC is caused by adenoviruses, which are generally resistant to most disinfectants. Adenoviruses often cause respiratory illnesses or conjunctivitis, and outbreaks can occur throughout the year. There is no particular time of year when adenovirus infections and outbreaks are more common. Adenoviruses are not a nationally reportable disease in the United States, meaning clinicians do not need to test cases or report them to health departments or the CDC. For this reason, many adenovirus outbreaks are likely to be either undetected or not reported.

Types of Adenovirus That Can Cause Outbreaks?

There have been sporadic cases and adenovirus outbreaks reported and these are:

  • Adenovirus types 3, 4, and 7 are most commonly associated with acute respiratory disease. Adenovirus type 7 has been associated with more severe outcomes than other types of adenovirus, especially in people with weakened immune systems. In the last 10 years, serious cases of illness and death from adenovirus type 7 infection have been reported in the United States.

Since 2007, there has been adenovirus type 14 associated with acute respiratory disease outbreaks among US military recruits and the general public.

Adenovirus types that can cause epidemic keratoconjunctivitis are 8, 19, 37, 53, and 54.

  • Enteric adenovirus types that usually cause gastroenteritis in children are 40 and 41.

There are some adenoviruses that spread in bodies of water such as small lakes or swimming pools that do not contain enough chlorine and can cause conjunctivitis and febrile disease outbreaks such as 4 and 7

Health Professionals,

  • Adenoviruses should be considered as possible causes of upper respiratory tract disease and lower respiratory tract diseases such as pneumonia.
  • Report any unusual clusters of disease (eg respiratory, conjunctivitis) potentially caused by adenoviruses to the local health department.
  • Appropriate infection control measures specific to adenovirus should be in place to help prevent or control outbreaks. This may include active surveillance, isolating sick patients whenever possible, restricting visitors and new admissions, monitoring staff for illnesses and sending them home when sick, cleaning the environment, using personal protective equipment, and washing or sterilizing hands frequently.

Anyone can get adenovirus 14, but those with weakened immune systems, toddlers, older adults, and people with chronic diseases are those at higher risk of complications from the virus, just as with any disease. While adenoviruses can cause serious illness in some people, it is mostly a mild disease that does not require treatment. Even so, good hygiene habits help minimize the risk of infection with these and other viruses.


  1. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2748061/
  2. www.centerforhealthsecurity.org/cbn/2009/cbnreport_04172009.html

SEE ALSO: What is Demodex? Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

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