There's no doubt that we're having a rough flu season.  Almost everyone I know is (or has been) ill.  Apparently, though, it's not just the flu that is causing the problems.

Yes, there's something else adding to this year's cold / flu misery: the adenovirus

Adenovirus infections often look like the common cold, or influenza. They cause fever, headache, body aches and sometimes but not always cough, stomach distress and breathing problems. Some strains cause eye infections.

According to News republic, it is such a problem that the U. S. military vaccinates against two (of the 52) different strains of it.  When the military took a break from the vaccinations in 1999, infection rates soared.  They've been declining since they re-introduced the vaccine in 2011.

Fortunately, it doesn't kill as many people as the flue does,  but it is still nasty!  And, it is hard to kill.  It can reportedly stay on plastic and metal surfaces, like countertops, for a month.  And adenoviruses are very hard to kill. Reports indicate they can survive on plastic and metal surfaces— think countertops and hospital tables— for a month. Some formulations of alcohol and chlorhexidine do not kill them easily, but chlorine does.

The best defense?  Avoid people who are sick, avoid touching your eyes, and wash your hands!


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