Virulent Form of Cold Virus Spreads in the U.S.

A new strain of the virus that causes the common cold -- known as adenovirus -- has killed 10 people in the United States and caused dozens of others to be hospitalized.

There are 51 types of adenoviruses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most of which cause only a mild illness in healthy people.

The new strain -- adenovirus 14 -- is unique because it's capable of making even healthy young adults severely ill.

The new virus has sickened about 140 people. Over 50 of them were hospitalized, 24 of whom were admitted to intensive care units.

Adenoviruses cause acute upper respiratory tract infections like the common cold, and may also cause:
  • Inflammation of your stomach and intestines
  • Pink eye
  • Bladder infection
  • Rashes
While typically only a danger to the very young, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems, health officials are warning that even healthy people are at risk.

Cases of people sickened by adenovirus 14 have been reported in New York, Oregon, Washington state, and Texas, though it's possible the virus has spread beyond these four states, according to the CDC.

Dr. Mercola's Comments:
On average every person in the United States has about two colds a year, unless you are a bright reader who understands and applies the principles I discuss on this site. What really impresses me is how consistently people tell me that ever since they started following the program they simply don’t get coughs, colds or flus anymore.

It really is amazing how resistant you become when you supply your body with all the essential building blocks it needs to have a strong immune response, such as proper rest, good water, and a nutritional typed appropriate diet loaded with omega-3 fats. Avoiding sugars and processed foods -- and having a tool to address emotional stressors -- are other powerful factors.

But for those that fail to follow the guidelines, when you come down with a cold your first instinct may be to visit your doctor for a prescription or get some over-the-counter cold medicine (so it’s no wonder why the common cold costs the U.S. economy $40 billion a year).

This new, virulent cold virus should be handled like any other infectious virus out there -- and this is not by taking a prescription drug. In fact, overcoming the common cold really starts with a few ounces of prevention.

Before I explain more, I first want to point out that antibiotics are simply never indicated with a simple cold. They are only appropriate if there is a secondary bacterial infection, because, as you probably know, antibiotics do not work for viruses.

Most people believe that colds are caused by bacteria, but this, of course, is not correct. Colds are triggered by viruses, and using antibiotics to treat a viral infection is an exercise in futility -- it will never work. Viruses are a tiny fraction of the size of bacteria. They do not posses any of the metabolic machinery that allows antibiotics to work on bacteria, thus making them unaffected by antibiotics.

Occasionally antibiotics are required if there is a secondary bacterial sinus infection or bronchitis/pneumonia, but this is the rare exception.

What makes you susceptible to coming down with a cold virus?

The simple and short answer is an impairment in your immune system that is likely the result of leading a less-than-healthy lifestyle. All of the following factors will greatly increase your likelihood of coming down with a cold:
  1. Eating too much sugar and too many grains (think holiday treats)
  2. Inadequate vitamin D stores from not enough sun exposure in the summer
  3. Insufficient omega-3 intake and/or excessive omega-6 ingestion
  4. Not getting enough rest
  5. Using insufficient strategies to address emotional stressors in your life
  6. Any combination of the above
Quite simply, you must take care of yourself if you want to avoid getting sick. This means:
Psychological stress is a big one, as those who are overwhelmed by it are nearly four times more likely than their optimistic peers to come down with a cold.

My favorite tool to release stress in your life is the psychological acupressure tool the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)

Secret Inexpensive Tool to Use in Case You Do Come Down With a Cold

Finally, what can you do if you’ve already come down with a cold, or the flu for that matter?

One of the best tricks I ever found for treating colds and flus is simply putting a few drops of hydrogen peroxide in your ears.

I first learned of this trick years ago. I put it in my newsletter and then removed it as I thought it was an urban legend. But I was shocked and surprised with all the email comments I received providing anecdotal evidence of how effective it was. Seems to work especially well if you do it at the first sign of the cold or flu.

I haven't the slightest idea of how it works, but I can guarantee you two things: it won't hurt you and it only costs a few cents so there is nothing to lose.
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