Morning Rounds: How to fight flu-like virus

NORFOLK, Va - If you've managed to dodge the flu, doctors say you should keep your guard up against a flu-like virus going around.

"The adenovirus causes many of the same symptoms as the flu," said Dr. Ryan Light on News 3 This Morning.  "These symptoms (fever, chill, body ache, runny nose, cough, sore throat, and gastrointestinal) are usually less severe but can last seven to ten days.  Often, this is the virus that causes influenza-like illness which is diagnosed by a negative flu test."

Dr. Light said he is seeing several cases of flu-type illnesses likely due to the adenovirus in his office, while they continue to diagnose scattered cases of the flu.

"Good health habits, like covering your nose and mouth when you cough and washing your hands often, can help stop the spread of germs," said Dr. Light.  "The adenovirus is spread through respiratory droplets then inhaled or consumed.  It is essential to clean surfaces you come in contact with and wash your hands frequently.   Proper hand hygiene can prevent you from getting sick from the adenovirus.  You should also avoid people when they are sick and if you are ill stay, home."

Dr.  Light said there is no specific treatment for adenovirus, and the best treatment is prevention through proper hand hygiene.

"If you are unfortunate and contract the virus, it is usually mild," he explained.  "Palliative care works best: bed rest, staying well hydrated, and medications to treat symptoms of fever and body ache.  Anti-inflammatory, acetaminophen, cough medicine, decongestants, and cough drops will alleviate the adenovirus symptoms."