Science Stats

Boot camp bug

U.S. military does battle with adenoviruses

10:00am, July 27, 2014

The U.S. military has been fighting a battle with a common virus. Adenoviruses, which cause respiratory illnesses including some colds, plague boot camps. In the past, the viruses have infected 80 percent or more of new soldiers, spawning a potentially fatal flulike illness in some. A vaccine kept the virus in check for two decades but was discontinued in 1996, after a dispute between its maker — Wyeth Pharmaceuticals — and the U.S. Department of Defense. A new vaccine introduced by the DOD in 2011 has cut infections by a factor of 100, scientists report July 2 in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

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