The United States is currently witnessing the emergence of a novel virus called Human Metapneumovirus (HMPV), which is increasingly being recognized as a significant contributor to acute respiratory infections.

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HMPV is a respiratory virus that can cause various illnesses ranging from mild to severe in people of all ages. While it is most commonly found in children, the virus can also affect older adults and people with compromised immune systems.

HMPV virus symptoms

The symptoms of the HMPV virus are identical to other respiratory illnesses, such as the common cold, cough, fever, fatigue, muscle aches, shortness of breath, and pneumonia. The symptoms may differ from patient to patient depending upon the severity.

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Test

Doctors can diagnose HMPV. They can ask for samples from the nose and throat. Rapid antigen tests or PCR test samples can also be used, and for severe cases, a bronchoscopy.

Cause

HMPV is primarily transmitted through close contact with infected people, as well as coughing, sneezing, and contact with virus-contaminated surfaces. It circulates more during the winter and spring seasons, coinciding with the activity of other common viruses like influenza and cold viruses.

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HMPV typically has an incubation period of 3-7 days. If a person has been exposed to the virus, symptoms will appear and become noticeable in 3-7 days.

Cure

There is currently no targeted antiviral therapy or vaccine available for HMPV. In most cases, the infection resolves on its own, and treatment focuses primarily on symptom management. Pain relievers, fever reducers, and congestion relievers are available over-the-counter. For severe cases, medical attention is required.

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Prevention

Adopting good hygiene practices, such as handwashing on a regular basis, covering coughs and sneezes, and avoiding close contact with sick people, can significantly reduce the risk of HMPV transmission.

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