Virus mimics flu but vaccine not available to civilians - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Virus mimics flu but vaccine not available to civilians

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(WVVA) -

It looks like the like the flu, feels like the flu, and can even put patients in the hospital.

But doctors say there's another virus adding to the misery this flu season that isn't as easily identified.

Adenoviruses, as the family of diseases is known, are not seasonal and can cause fever, head and body aches any time of year. It can also cause pink eye and in the rare cases severe complications. But the vaccine is only available to military members.

While many doctors hope the vaccine becomes available to the public, even the standard flu vaccine has run out at most offices in Bluefield and Princeton.

"It does mimic the flu virus but there is no test specifically for that so it's kind of tricky for practitioners when we are treating patients because it's basically the same symptoms and the flu test is negative,” said Physician Assistant Heather Cook. “And it is simply a virus. You still must be cautious because you don't want any of these viruses to turn bacterial and have any complications such as pneumonia or things like that. The symptoms seem to be lasting quite a while. Some of the patients that I’ve had feedback from, they've had symptoms for almost seven days so these patients are quite sick.”

Cook says the best defense is to wash your hands frequently. 

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