Tests show fall outbreak is rhinovirus, not swine flu

  1. Not that they weren't seeing swine flu, too, but doctors at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia were surprised how many tests came back positive for rhinovirus, not swine flu, in their patients that presented with wheezing, pneumonia and lower respiratory tract infections:


    Excerpt from story (full story at link above):

    I had swine flu. It is almost a badge of honor, suggesting that the speaker survived the first pandemic of the 21st century and is immune to the next wave.

    It also may be wrong.

    Tests at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia suggest that large numbers of people who got sick this fall actually fell victim to a sudden, unusually severe - and continuing - outbreak of rhinovirus, better known as a key cause of the common cold.

    Experts say it is logistically and financially impossible to test everyone with flulike symptoms. And signs, treatment, and prognoses for a bad cold and a mild flu are virtually identical, so the response hardly differs.
    But the finding may send an important message to parents who (despite doctors' recommendations) are questioning the need to immunize their children against swine flu because they seemed to have already had the disease, said Susan Coffin, director of infection prevention and control at Children's Hospital.

    "Maybe their child is still susceptible to H1N1 and should still get the vaccine," Coffin said.

    For years, rhinoviruses have been the Rodney Dangerfields of microbes. Even major institutions have found plenty of reasons not to pay them much mind. They are exceedingly common, they cause mere colds, they come in hundreds of hard-to-identify strains that make testing a challenge, and there is no effective treatment anyway.
    Neither the federal government nor the states track rhinoviruses in the way they do "surveillance" for influenza, based on samplings of doctor diagnoses, emergency-room visits, and lab reports. Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is one of the few institutions that routinely checks for them whenever it tests for influenza and other viruses.
  2. Visit AtomicWoman profile page

    About AtomicWoman

    Joined: Jul '07; Posts: 1,775; Likes: 1,177


  3. by   indigo girl
    When the Flu, Isn't the Flu


    I am always interested in a new "bug,"though I suspect it may not be new, just unrecognized.

    Quote from afludiary.blogspot.com
    ...according to doctors at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the strain of Rhinovirus circulating in Philadelphia this fall produced unusually severe symptoms:

    Besides the sheer numbers of rhinovirus, Coffin was surprised that it was causing more problems - wheezing, pneumonia, fever, and lower-respiratory-tract infections - than are normally associated with the common cold, which typically infects the upper respiratory tract.

    That has led her to suspect that a strain not seen here before may be responsible. The CDC's lab will attempt to identify the strain.