An outbreak of the hacking cough virus is sweeping regions in Wales, affecting thousands this winter. It is an unpleasant cough that lasts for weeks and unlike the whooping cough, does not respond to antibiotics.
According to health expert John Oxford, professor of virology at the University of London, the outbreak is most likely the result of adenovirus. It is the main culprit behind respiratory conditions such as bronchitis, pneumonia, and gastroenteritis.
He warns that the virus can survive at a normal body temperature and go down into the lungs. Once there, it can cause chesty cough that can continue even until other symptoms have waned.
Hacking cough virus usually just run its course and then leave the host's body. It is this self-limiting characteristic of the virus that make it so difficult to develop a vaccine for.
According to the Independent, Queen Elizabeth II, could still be suffering from the hacking cough after missing a number of public Christmas celebrations.
Clare Gerada, former head of the Royal College of General Practitioners explains that it takes three to four week to completely recover from the virus which is in keeping to the time the Queen has been ill.
She also says that general practitioners in Wales are seeing more symptoms like that caused by adenovirus despite public health warnings on how to avoid it such as regular handwashing.
Unfortunately for the patients, antibiotics have no effect on the virus since these drugs are only meant to alleviate symptoms caused by bacteria, the Exeter Express And Echo reports.
The report of the outbreak interestingly coincides with the surge of flu cases recently.
Just as with the warnings given to control the flu virus, health experts are similarly urging sufferers to just stay at home to avoid overcrowding health services and to keep the hacking cough virus from spreading.