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.

What is the contagious period for an Adenovirus 14 infection?

Unfortunately, the contagious period for this virus begins when the virus starts to be shed in droplets and feces. This can begin in the incubation period and can continue to be shed for months after the person has recovered and has no signs or symptoms of the illness.

How long does it take to get over an Adenovirus 14 infection?

Most infections last about five days (range is about three to seven days). Severe infections may last two or more weeks.

What are symptoms and signs of an Adenovirus 14 infection?

Adenovirus 14 infections usually begin with cold symptoms such as:

  • a cough,
  • runny nose, and
  • mild fever and possibly throat irritation.

The majority of infected people have these types of symptoms for several days (about three to five days), and then the respiratory tract infection clears without any medical treatment. However, with some individuals, infection with the adenovirus 14 strain (and rarely a few other strains such as 3, 7, 21, 30) progresses past the three to five days, causing additional symptoms. These symptoms may include:

Although infection with Ad14 has been found in a few isolated individuals, most recent outbreaks have occurred with groups of individuals living in close contact. For example, the 2007 outbreak occurred in a military installation in San Antonio, TX, while the 2008 outbreak was in a small community in Alaska. A group of individuals that appears very ill (require hospitalization) due to respiratory problems, and are likely due to a "virus," should make clinicians suspect Ad14 as a possible cause of infection.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/10/2017

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