Deadly strains of Adenovirus not present in New Mexico | KOB 4
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Deadly strains of Adenovirus not present in New Mexico

Emily Jaceks
December 06, 2018 07:47 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— It may seem like the common cold, but Adenovirus can make people very sick.

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“Most of the time people come in and they have a sore throat, runny nose, congestion, headache, fever and chills, and they don't feel real good,” Dr. Melissa Martinez, professor of Internal Medicine at the University of New Mexico said.

But this virus takes on many different forms. In fact, it has 50 strains, and while most cases are mild and typically go away after running their course, some strains, like Type 7, can make you very sick.

“And that would be things like severe shortness of breath, high fevers that don't come down with ibuprofen and Tylenol, inability to eat and drink or hold down fluids,” Dr. Martinez said.

The virus can even be fatal, causing pneumonia and secondary infections. 

“There are tests for it. We rarely do it because it doesn't change our management most of the time,” Dr. Martinez said.

Because it is a virus, Dr. Martinez said there is no real treatment, and even antivirals won't do the trick.

“It depends on how serious it is and what's going on. iI someone has respiratory problems, we might put them in the hospital to help offer support and make sure they’re OK while it's going on,” Dr. Martinez said. 

Avoiding adenovirus is difficult because doctors say it's resistant to disinfectants.

“There is a vaccine that's used very limitedly. i think the military has the vaccine and they only use it when there's certain strains they’re aware of that are causing problems,” Dr. Martinez said.

The good news, Dr. Martinez said, only a few cases of Adenovirus have been reported in New Mexico. The deadly strain, however, hasn’t made its way out west yet.

“Not here in New Mexico right now, knock on wood of course,” Dr. Martinez said.

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Emily Jaceks

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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