Virulent Form of Cold Virus Spreads in the U.S.

A new strain of the virus that causes the common cold — known as adenovirus — has killed 10 people in the United States and caused dozens of others to be hospitalized.


There are 51 types of adenoviruses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most of which cause only a mild illness in healthy people.

The new strain — adenovirus 14 — is unique because it’s capable of making even healthy young adults severely ill.

The new virus has sickened about 140 people. Over 50 of them were hospitalized, 24 of whom were admitted to intensive care units.

Adenoviruses cause acute upper respiratory tract infections like the common cold, and may also cause:

  • Inflammation of your stomach and intestines
  • Pink eye
  • Bladder infection
  • Rashes

While typically only a danger to the very young, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems, health officials are warning that even healthy people are at risk.

Cases of people sickened by adenovirus 14 have been reported in New York, Oregon, Washington state, and Texas, though it’s possible the virus has spread beyond these four states, according to the CDC.

Sources: Reuters November 15, 2007

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