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Adenovirus finally getting the respect it deserves

Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at 09:33AM by Registered CommenterScott McPherson | CommentsPost a Comment

I was shocked -- shocked! -- to read the USA Today story of January 29th. I found the story on today's Drudge Report.  Apparently the US military has access to an adenovirus vaccine.  While AD4 is mentioned in the USA Today story, avid readers of this blog (there are still one or two of you out there, right?) will recall my many blogs from 2007 and 2008 about Adenovirus14, or Ad14.  Feel free to use my blog's search feature to get boned up; I'll wait.

OK!  Good to have you back.  Adenovirus can mimic flu in so many ways, and can help explain when people feel like crap but their flu test is negative.

Problem is, there is no rapid test for adenovirus. There is no civilian surveillance, either. But a sustained surge in cases among the military caused them to re-release the vaccine, and make it mandatory. Presto! Adenovirus cases dwindled.

From the article:

"The study, lead-authored by Adriana Kajon of the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute in New Mexico, concluded that the "vaccine currently licensed for military use should be considered a potentially valuable resource to prevent disease in susceptible populations living in closed communities, such as college settings, summer camps, and long-term care facilities.""

The USA Today story references an NBC News story on adenovirus. It is worthwhile reading, especially the last paragraph:

"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, tests have shown, although chlorine does."

But we also have to respect this statistic.  Again, from the NBC News story:

"An outbreak of adenovirus killed 10 people in 2007. Kajon’s team tested college students at one campus during the severe 2014-15 influenza epidemic and found 13 out of 168 students who came in for flu treatment had adenovirus infections."

Now this is but one college campus, and the numbers are unscientific and could easily be explained as an outbreak, sequestered on this one campus or region, and not indicative of numbers spread over a larger grographic area during a national epidemic.  Nonetheless, in this location, we can determine that nearly 8% of sick people had adenovirus and not flu.  That's significant. 

It would be a good thing if some of the Congressional muscle that is focused on pushing the CDC to do what it already is doing, could be redirected toward increasing awareness of adenovirus and in pushing to make that vaccine available to everyone!

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