Cold virus strain kills 10

November 16, 2007

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said 10 people have been killed by a potent new form of the common cold virus.

The virus, adenovirus serotype 14, has sickened more than 360 people in Texas, Oregon, Washington and New York, including at least 53 who have been hospitalized since May 2006, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

One U.S. soldier was killed by the strain and 106 others infected at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.

"Adenoviruses have been known to cause severe disease in the very young and the very old and people with medical problems," said Dr. John Su, a CDC infectious diseases investigator and co-author of the report. "What brought this to our attention is that it can cause severe respiratory diseases in otherwise healthy adults."

Researchers said the cause of the virus' mutation and the source of the outbreaks were not known Thursday.

David Metzgar, microbiologist and lead author of the paper, said his team found evidence that the strain dates back to 2001 in California.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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