Virus that mimics flu could also be at fault for all the misery

Virus that mimics flu could also be at fault for all the misery

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - While the flu has taken the country by storm. Another virus could also be to blame for all the misery. It mocks the flu and other illnesses and is very contagious.

"The 2017-2018 season has been by far the worst I've seen in a very long time," said Stephanie Shanks, a nurse at Mercy Health St. Charles. "We've been at max capacity for quite some time and it just seems to keep coming."

Nurses said it's been all hands on deck this year facing the sickness in our community. But it may not all be the flu's fault.

"An adenovirus is actually a group of viruses that can cause anything from pink eye to the common cold to pneumonia," said Lisa Beauch, Regional Manager for Infection Prevention at Mercy Health.

Specialists say there are more than 50 different strains of the adenovirus and there is no antibiotic for it, but over the counter medicines can reduce symptoms. Lisa Beauch said there have already been several cases regionally. We may not see relief soon either.

"Typically there's a flu season that peaks and kind of goes off and adenoviruses are found 365 days a year," explained Beauch.

It is highly contagious and can live on surfaces for a long time. Nurses said all the sickness leaves them worried about taking it or the flu home.

"You just pray," said Shanks. "You just hope that you just don't catch it."

Experts said you need to be alert of your surroundings and if you're sick stay home because it only takes one infection to spread.

"They are all spread in repertory secretions, couching sneezing that kind of thing," Beauch said about the adenoviruses.

If you notice your symptoms are very severe you should contact your doctor. But the best way to steer clear of this nasty strain of viruses is to practice cough and sneeze etiquette, wash your hands regularly, avoid touching your face or mouth frequently, and disinfect surfaces like your phone, remote and more.

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