Adenovirus 14 Infection (Killer Cold Virus)

  • Medical Author:
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

  • Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Adenovirus 14 Infection Symptom

Runny Nose

Stuffy nose is a term often used to refer to obstruction to the flow of air in and out of the nose, while runny nose refers to a discharge (fluid) coming from the nasal passages. Both of these conditions are associated with inflammation and swelling (congestion) of the inner lining of the nasal passages and sinuses. Rhinitis is a term that refers to inflammation of the nasal passages. A viral infection (the common cold) is the most common cause of a stuffy and/or runny nose, but allergies, influenza, other viral infections like RSV and sinus infections also may cause these symptoms and signs.

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.
  • Ad 14 is contagious and is transmitted person to person and by touching contaminated surfaces.
  • The incubation period averages about five to eight days, but the contagious period can last for weeks to months.
  • Risk factors include crowded living conditions, contact with an infected individual, and immunosuppression.
  • 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 the respiratory infection; the majority of patients have no complications but hospitalized patients and people with weak immune systems 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 2/10/2017

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