Ad14 (Adenovirus Serotype 14): The Mutated Cold Virus That Has Caused 10 Deaths in Last 18 Months

There are more than 50 distinct types of adenoviruses related to human illnesses. They are one cause of the common cold, and also trigger pneumonia and bronchitis. Severe illnesses are more likely in people with weaker immune systems.

A new variant, Ad14, has caused at least 140 illnesses and 10 fatalities in New York, Oregon, Washington and Texas in the last 18 months, according to a CDC report Thursday.

New York
In the CDC report, the earliest case of the mutated virus was reported found in an infant girl in New York City, who died last year. The child seemed healthy right after birth, but  became dehydrated and lost appetite. She died 12 days after she was born.

A 19-year-old Air Force trainee, Paige Renee Villers, died on Aug. 7 due to complications from pneumonia. She was an airman in basic training at Lackland Air Force Base outside San Antonio, Texas where hundreds suffered from “Boot Camp Flu” and where some of those normally healthy military recruits ended up in the intensive care unit.

In April, Oregon health officials reported a cluster of cases at a Portland-area hospital.

In May, Washington health officials reported four hospitalized patients had the Ad14 mutated virus. One, who also had AIDS, died.

Taking extra precaustions to avoid a cold? Follow these simple rules to help prevent catching a cold:

Practice regular hand-washing. Never eat, touch your eyes, nose or mouth before you have washed your hands that have been in contact with public items, such as door handles, merchandise, money, shaken hands, exercise equipment — to name just a few. The virus can survive for weeks on contaminated surfaces.

Disinfect and use antibacterial gels. The chemicals probably don’t kill the cold virus but the mechanical washing probably removes the virus.

Avoid people who are sick — close your eyes and avoid breathing air near the mist where someone has just sneezed.

Get plenty of rest and don’t skip meals or go hungry. Eat balanced meals.

Adenovirus incubation period is two to nine days.

Frequent Hand Washing, especially in Winter can cause hands to become red and dry and can even cause the skin to crack. Use hand lotions to prevent skin aggravation.