Adenovirus Infection Outbreaks

The Adenovirus is the most common cause of respiratory illness throughout the United States with more than 57 different types reported. This virus infects the tissue lining of the respiratory tract and can cause various illnesses such as adenoviral conjunctivitis, cystitis, gastroenteritis and rashes. Overcrowding can cause an acute outbreak of the adenovirus. Symptoms of the infection are similar to the common cold, pneumonia, bronchitis or croup.

Incidences Worldwide

Various strains of the adenovirus such as Ad7b and Ad7c have been noted in Europe and Australia between 1969 and 1974. The strain Ad7e was replaced by Ad7b in Brazil in 1982. Further outbreaks have also been reported in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay in 1986 with the strains of Ad7c shifting to Ad7h while China was affected by the Adenovirus strain Ad7d shifting to Ad7b in 1980 as well as an emergence of the virus in Japan. Israel and the Soviet Union have noted outbreaks since then in their respective countries. Most recently, the newer strain Ad7i was found in an infant boy in Argentina, resulting in a fatality.

With the outbreak of the Adenovirus world-wide, residents, especially those in pediatric facilities, have fallen ill with the virus. Cases of the infection were not readily reported in the United States due to possible lack of lab resources needed in order to make and confirm a diagnosis. The most common strain in the U.S. is the Ad7d2, which can be very severe. Studies show that an outbreak in September of 1998 in Chicago is the first reported case in the United States.

 

Incidences In The United States

In the past decade, numerous outbreaks of the disease have emerged in several States. In May of 2006, a 12-day old infant was affected with the AD14 strain of the virus.

A total of 17 people contracted the Adenovirus in 2007 in Oregon. Several patients were admitted to the hospital with clinical signs of pneumonia between March
3rd and April 6th. They were identified with the strain Ad14. Further reports show 68 additional people tested positive for Adenovirus during November 1, 2006 through April 30, 2007.

Cases affect people of all ages and four patients aged between 40 and 62 in a residential care facility in Washington were hospitalized for pneumonia type symptoms in April and May, 2007. Three of the residents were female and all four were smokers. Initial symptoms included cough, difficulty breathing and fever. Three of the patients required intensive care and one of the patients died as a result of AIDS after eight days. However, all four patients did test positive for the AD14 strain of the adenovirus.

Texas also reported an outbreak of respiratory infection in February 2007 among military trainees at the Lackland Air Force Base (LAFB). With over 400 respiratory cases reported and tested for the Adenovirus, 268 had positive results for the Ad14 strain of the infection. Prior to this, LAFB only had one other case in May 2006. As a direct result of caring for the trainees of LAFB, many of the health-care workers ultimately became infected as well with the Ad14 infection.

Other cases in Texas were reported from February 3 through June 23, 2007 with 27 patients admitted to the hospital, five of them in ICU. One of the ICU patients
died from the effects of the strain of infection.

Further Studies

Since the outbreak of the Adenovirus world-wide, more studies have revealed more ways to treat and manage the respiratory illness. Specific treatment and medication is still a matter of debate depending on normal immune response in an otherwise healthy adult. Medications have been based on case reports and clinical studies. Clinical trials have noted some positive impact on patients using medications known as Ribavirin and Cidofovir, dependent upon the doctor’s findings and recommendations.