It’s that time of year again! And no, we’re not talking about Christmas. It’s flu season! The flu is a nasty virus that is highly contagious and hard to avoid in the winter months. As if we didn’t already have our hands full with the flu, we also have to worry about adenoviruses. If you’re like me, you probably have never heard of an adenovirus before, but you’ve probably encountered one. Self magazine points out that while an adenovirus looks like the flu and acts like the flu, they’re not the same.
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A report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from February 2018 shows that while adenoviruses are quite common and treatable (they’ve been knowingly around since the 1950s), they can also be fatal and may be causing more flu like illnesses than we thought. The best way to fight off any kind of illness, flu or adenovirus is to be informed. Here’s a look at everything you need to know about adenoviruses…
What are Adenovirus Infections?
Stanford Children’s Health defines the adenoviruses as a group of common viruses that often cause a respiratory illness like “a common cold, conjunctivitis, croup, bronchitis, or pneumonia.” There are over 50 different strains and most people have experienced one or all of these viruses at some point in their life. They can affect our eyes, airways, lungs, intestines, urinary tract, and nervous system. They often come in the form of fevers, sore throats, coughs, pink eye, and diarrhea.
Similar to other infections, those with a weak immune system are more susceptible which is why we see more adenovirus infections in children than we do in adults, but they can occur at any age. “Most kids will have at least one type of adenovirus infection by the time they’re 10,” says WebMD. This is how common they are. While they often only cause mild symptoms and they tend to heal on their own, they can be more serious, especially for those with a weaker immune system like children and the elderly.