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Second Virus Causing Flu-Like Symptoms in Patients: MD

The adenovirus looks and feels like the flu but it’s not influenza

Feel like you’ve had the flu more than once this season? You may have been hit with the flu, or it may be another virus that feels like influenza but isn't.

The adenovirus looks and feels like the flu but it’s not influenza. Doctors say the symptoms tend to be slightly less severe than influenza, but they can still make you feel like you need to stay home and rest. In some cases, symptoms can include pink eye or gastrointestinal issues.

Dr. Pouya Afshar, Chief Medical Officer of Integrated Healthcare Alliance, says adenovirus has been around for years but has rarely been talked about until recently. 

“Because the numbers for the flu are so high this year, we’re looking at other causes,” Dr. Afshar explained. “They’re coming up with the diagnoses because they’re testing everybody who comes in.”

There is no commercially distributed vaccine for adenovirus, there’s only a vaccine for the military.

“The military has a greater need because they are together in tight quarters and the potential for an outbreak is more common,” Dr. Afshar said.

Unfortunately, there is no medication to treat adenovirus. The best thing to do is treat the symptoms by resting and drinking fluids.

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