LAFAYETTE, La. (KPEL News) - While COVID-19, the flu, and even RSV (Respiratory syncytial virus) get a lot of attention during this time of year, there's a pesky and painful infection that has been causing issues for children and adults and could continue to do so in the upcoming months: the adenovirus.

The adenovirus made its appearance in my family during the Thanksgiving holiday when my 2-year-old daughter got it then my wife. Nearly two months later, my mother-in-law has caught in and it is quite a pain.

For those it affects, the adenovirus looks like pink eye but it feels like the flu. Some people think it is just pink eye then realize they are in for something more bothersome when they start experiencing other symptoms including:

  • sore throat
  • sneezing
  • runny nose
  • cough
  • headache
  • chills
  • symptoms of croup or bronchitis.

Like the other illnesses I mentioned above, the adenovirus spreads very easily and in these ways, according to the CDC:

  • close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • the air by coughing and sneezing
  • touching an object or surface with adenoviruses on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands
  • contact with stool, for example, during diaper changing Adenoviruses are often resistant to common disinfectants and can remain infectious for long periods of time on surfaces and objects.

The adenovirus can affect people at any time of the year. And it can take awhile to make its way out of your system, from a few days to a couple of weeks.

One interesting thing about the adenovirus is that scientists have used this family of viruses for several COVID-19 vaccines, including Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, according to The adenovirus vaccine itself is only used in the military as it has not been approved for the general public at this time.

So, if someone around you has what looks to be pink eye and they are complaining of pain in their body as well, make sure you are washing your hands and doing what you can to not spread it yourself.

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