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New strain of cold virus claims 10 lives in U.S.

www.chinaview.cn 2007-11-17 12:26:41 Print

Enlarged view of an adenovirus particle. A virulent new form of cold virus has caused the deaths of 10 people and sickness in more than 360 others in the United States. (File Photo)

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- A virulent new form of cold virus has caused the deaths of 10 people and sickness in more than 360 others in the United States, according to a new report obtained by Xinhua Friday.

Among those taken ill, at least 53 were hospitalized, said the report by the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The adenovirus serotype 14 virus was first detected in May 2006, and the deaths and infections were centered in Texas, Oregon, Washington and New York, the report said.

One of the largest outbreaks occurred at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, where 106 soldiers were infected and one died, it added.

"Adenoviruses have been known to cause severe disease in the very young and the very old and people with medical problems," a coauthor of the report Dr. John Su, a CDC infectious diseases investigator, said. "What brought this to our attention is that it can cause severe respiratory diseases in otherwise healthy adults."

Researchers do not know what caused the virus to mutate or what sparked the outbreaks.

Adenoviruses come in 51 distinct types, causing a range of illnesses that include pink eye, bronchitis and gastrointestinal problems. There is no drug specifically designed for adenovirus infections, but most infections resolve on their own.

Adenovirus 14 tends to cause colds or respiratory illnesses and can be spread by contaminated surfaces and on the air in a cough or sneeze, Su said.

The CDC report followed a study last month from the Naval Health Research Center in San Diego that found infections, starting in early 2006,at military bases in California, Missouri, Illinois, Georgia and Texas.

Just saw this in the news tonight.


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