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: Mary D. Nettleman, MD, MS, MACP
    Mary D. Nettleman, MD, MS, MACP

    Mary D. Nettleman, MD, MS, MACP

    Mary D. Nettleman, MD, MS, MACP is the Chair of the Department of Medicine at Michigan State University. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt Medical School, and completed her residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Indiana University.

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What is the prognosis for an Adenovirus 14 (Ad14) infection?

In general, the prognosis for the majority (about 60% in some outbreaks) of people diagnosed with Ad14 is excellent with no complications. The prognosis declines as the severity of disease increases. Some people who are hospitalized may do well; those with other health problems or who are immunosupressed have a prognosis that may range from fair to poor depending on the individual's response to supportive and other possible (antiviral) therapies. Depending on the population and the setting, up to 5% of people identified as having Ad14 may die.

Can an Adenovirus 14 infection be prevented?

The only Adenovirus vaccines are against Ad4 and Ad7 and are not available to the general public, but are restricted to the military in the U.S. Currently, there is no commercially available vaccine against Ad14. Fortunately, the number of people infected with this strain has been very low, and to date, there is no good evidence this strain will rapidly cause global problems like HIV or Enterovirus strains. However, because this virus can be deadly and can be transmitted from person to person by droplets, it has the potential to become widespread. Also, there can be some confusion in the medical literature about Adenovirus "vaccines" as the virus has been used as a genetic carrier for other viral genomic elements to make research vaccines against other viruses; these should be listed as recombinant vaccines and not confused with the limited production of Ad4 and Ad7 vaccines.

Good hand washing techniques, avoiding close contact with infected people, and avoidance of touching people or potentially contaminated surfaces and then touching eyes, nose, or mouth are some of the best ways to reduce the chance of getting infected with Ad14. These techniques are used to help avoid many other viral illnesses such as influenza, RSV, and other Enteroviruses. Patients with the disease should always cover their cough or sneeze and avoid touching others. Potentially contaminated items such as food, plates, utensils, and other handled items should be discarded or cleaned carefully before reuse to help reduce Ad14 transfer to others.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/8/2016

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  • Adenovirus 14 - Signs and Symptoms

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