Adenovirus 14 Infection (Killer Cold Virus)

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Adenovirus 14 (Ad14) facts

  • Adenovirus 14 (Ad14) is termed the killer cold virus because of the high incidence of hospitalizations and deaths attributed to the viral strain.
  • Ad14 viruses are passed person to person or picked up from items touched by infected people and then initially invade cells in the eye, nose, or mouth that subsequently allow further spread to other body organs.
  • Symptoms and signs resemble those of a cold (cough, runny nose, mild fever) for about three to five days; the majority of people clear the disease, but up to about 40% may need hospitalization with severe symptoms of pneumonia, and shortness of breath; other organ related symptoms may develop such as eye, bladder, and GI problems.
  • Ad14 is presumptively diagnosed by history, physical exam, X-ray, and in association with other Ad14-diagnosed patients in the community; definitive diagnosis is completed with isolation of the virus from the patient, a rising titer of antibodies against Ad14, immunofluorescence of Ad14 virus particles in tissues, or fluids and PCR tests.
  • Treatments are mainly supportive; antivirals have been used by some clinicians but there are no studies that prove efficacy, only case reports.
  • Complications of Ad14 are related to the severity of infection; the majority of patients have no complications but hospitalized patients may have mild to serious complications which are related to the organ system most damaged (eyes, GI tract, bladder and most notably, lung problems such as ARDS that may lead to death).
  • The majority of patients have an excellent prognosis; however, about 40% of infected patients may have a wide range of suboptimal outcomes, depending on the severity of the Ad14 infection.
  • Ad14 infections can be reduced or prevented by careful hygiene methods; there is no vaccine currently available against Ad14.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/1/2014

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Adenovirus 14 - Signs and Symptoms Question: What were the signs and symptoms associated with adenovirus 14 in you, a friend, or relative?
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Killer Cold Virus Transmission

Adenoviruses are spread like the common cold. The viruses can be spread from person to person via coughing or sneezing. People may also become infected by touching something with adenovirus on it and then touching their mouth, nose, or eyes. For example, adenoviruses can be transferred to a doorknob when an infected person sneezes into his/her hands and then touches the doorknob before washing. Germs can also be spread if an infected person sneezes or coughs onto tabletops or other items that might be touched by other people. To prevent the spread of disease, it is important to practice good health habits.