Monday, March 26, 2018

It's June....Do I Really Have the Flu

So...we're finally reaching the end of the flu season, which this year was especially brutal. Did you know that as the flu season ushers out, there is another virus that we have to be on guard for...the adenoviruses, which can be lurking year round. Adenoviruses are a group of viruses, causing several illness, which have been identified since the 1950s.  Recent reports indicate they are causing more flu like illnesses than have been previously recognized.
Though most cases of adenoviruses are usually mild and resolve themselves generally within 10 days with over-the-counter and/or natural remedies, plenty hydration and rest, they are of greater concern in individuals with existing respiratory disease or who are immune compromised.
You may wonder if I am feeling bad does it really make a difference whether I have the flu or an adenovirus. Yes, especially in the instance where one develops pneumonia or if you are immune compromised.  The treatment approach is different for the flu vs. the adenovirus.
Tamiflu which is the antiviral given for the flu is not effective for the adenovirus.  The antiviral cidofovir can be used to treat immune compromised individuals and ribavirin for those who develop an adenovirus-related pneumonia.   
As with the flu, practicing good hand washing technique is the best defense in preventing illness from the adenoviruses. To learn more about adenoviruses read "What are Adenoviruses Infection".

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