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What you need to know about the surging virus

What you need to know about the surging virus


  • In May, the CDC reported a spike in human metapneumovirus (hMPV) infections.
  • Symptoms are similar to the common cold and include coughing, runny nose and sore throat. Testing is needed to tell the difference between hMPV and the common cold.
  • Children under 2 years of age are most at risk of hospitalization for hMPV.

Experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have warned that cases of the little-known virus have spiked this winter and spring.

According to last week’s news release, CDCincreasing cases of human metapneumovirus, also known as hMPV.

Case numbers began to rise during the winter and continued into the spring.

Here’s everything you need to know about this virus.

Human metapneumovirus (more commonly called hMPV) is a virus that affects the respiratory comes from the same family Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

Since the discovery of hMPV, it is now believed to be 2.nd or 3rd The main cause of lower respiratory tract viral infections and viral pneumonia Chan added that the number of children in need of medical care is also increasing.

“Like RSV and influenza, hMPV also occurs annually in late winter and early spring, usually one to two months after RSV infection. flu season,” Said Dr. Michael Chang, UTHealth Houston and Pediatric Infectious Diseases Specialist at Children’s Memorial Hermann. “During a given respiratory virus season (October to April), hMPV typically accounts for 5–10% of symptomatic respiratory virus infections, but this is even higher during peak hMPV seasons. ”

Dele Ogunseitan The University of California, Irvine – Professor of Public Health Program, Population Health and Disease Prevention, Ph.D., told Healthline that hMPV causes lower respiratory tract information and only RSV is more common.

“Many viruses that infect humans and cause similar respiratory illnesses are cold With most parts of the world in hibernation (lockdown) for the past two years and many of these viruses not circulating in the population, the number of cases could spike in recent months,” Ogunseitan said. said Mr. “We hadn’t acquired the kind of natural immunity that could have protected us from infections. These infections have spiked recently as people started interacting and traveling.”

General symptoms hMPV includes:

  • cough
  • heat
  • Nasal congestion
  • sore throat

Other more severe symptoms include lower respiratory tract symptoms such as: croup, bronchiolitis (such as respiratory syncytial virus), pneumonia, asthma Exacerbation.

It is important to note that bronchiolitis is not: Bronchitis in adults.Bronchiolitis and exacerbations of asthma are likely to be accompanied by respiratory symptoms WheezingPerhaps even in children with no previous history of wheezing, Chan explained. Bronchiolitis is more likely to occur in preschool children and younger.

Lower respiratory tract disease is rarely severe enough to require hospitalization or intensive care. hMPV is also associated with ear infections.

“The majority of patients with acute hMPV infection are children and present with the most common upper respiratory tract symptoms. snot, Cough, fever. Sometimes you see pink eyes from hMPV,” Chan said.

As for symptoms in adults, hMPV symptoms may look slightly different.

“Adults infected with hMPV may present with symptoms of viral pneumonia, exacerbation of asthma, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Adults can also develop bronchitis,” Chan said. rice field. “In general, the hMPV infection looks a lot like her RSV infection.”

A test is required to distinguish between the two states.

“For most children and adults, you can’t tell the difference between hMPV and the common cold without testing,” Chan said. “Also, testing for hMPV is not so common in outpatient settings, and many hospitals do not test him for hMPV even in inpatients. Look for genetic material.”

Patients generally cannot tell the difference between the common cold virus and hMPV, but laboratory tests may be able to distinguish and identify the specific virus involved, Ogunseitan explained.

“Symptoms are usually treated with rest and over-the-counter medications similar to those for the common cold. Patients with severe infections, including difficulty breathing, should seek immediate medical attention,” Dr. Ogunseitan said.

Professional medical care is important if you think someone is infected, and parents of infants should be especially careful. Ogunseitan said common hygiene practices such as washing hands and wearing masks should reduce the risk of infection.

There is no specific antiviral therapy for hMPV.

“For most patients, symptomatic treatment at home with hydration and antipyretics works very well,” Chan said. “For infants and children who require hospitalization, the main treatment is supplemental oxygen, hydration and supportive care.”

“Children under 2 years of age are at highest risk of hospitalization for hMPV. congenital heart diseaseasthma, and immunocompromised conditions are at risk of more severe disease from hMPV,” Chan said.

For adults, chronic heart disease with underlying medical conditions over the age of 65 or lung diseaseincluding asthma COPDor those with weakened immune systems, are at higher risk of becoming seriously ill, Chan added.

A new report issued by the CDC shows a surge in human metapneumovirus (hMPV) cases.

Common symptoms of this virus include coughing, runny nose, and sore throat. Testing is needed to tell the difference between hMPV and the common cold.

There is no specific treatment, but symptomatic treatment at home with hydration and antipyretics is effective.

Children under 2 years of age are most at risk of hospitalization for hMPV.




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