May 21, 2024
Virus Diseases

What is Human Metapneumovirus?


A prevalent respiratory virus is the “human metapneumovirus”, or HMPV. It is a member of the pneumoviridae family of viruses, which also includes the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

For a few days, if you have HMPV, you may experience minor cold-like symptoms like runny nose, sore throat, coughing, and sneezing. Rarely, you may get more severe symptoms, particularly if you have additional risk factors or a compromised immune system. Although anyone can have it, the extremely young and elderly are more likely to get it.

Metapneumovirus was found more than 20 years ago by Dutch scientists. However, recent studies reveal that it has been the global cause of respiratory infections for more than 50 years.

HMPV is contagious, just like any other virus, so you could contract it from someone else who has been exposed to it. Plus, it’s seasonal. This indicates that the winter and early spring seasons in the United States are when people are most prone to contract HMPV, which coincides with flu season.

Actually, studies indicate that the majority of people will probably get sick at least once before they are five. Infections can occur more than once in a person’s lifetime. HMPV accounts for almost one out of every ten respiratory infections in children. Though it can affect anyone, certain groups are particularly vulnerable to HMPV.

Symptoms of Human Metapneumovirus:

Most symptoms of HMPV are not particularly serious. They may consist of:

  • Cough Congestion in the nose
  • Swollen nose fever
  • Painful throat
  • Nasal congestion
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath

Usually, these disappear in two to five days. But occasionally, they can get worse and result in major health problems. Inform your physician if your symptoms worsen or persist for more than two weeks.

Medical test of human metapneumovirus:

Your doctor will usually ask you about your personal and family medical histories in addition to performing a thorough physical examination.

They might take samples from your lips, throat, or nose. To look for the virus, they might request a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test or a fast antigen test.

If the symptoms are severe for you or your child, your doctor might perform a bronchoscope test. During that process, a thin tube with a camera attached to its tip is inserted into your throat. Using that, they gather a fluid sample in order to look for the virus.

Treatment of human metapneumovirus:

There is no particular treatment or recovery. You only need supportive treatment to manage your symptoms while you recover because the majority of symptoms are minimal and go away on their own.

In the meantime, to help reduce your symptoms, you can:

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil) are over-the-counter pain medications that can be used to treat fever, pain, and coughing.
  • Decongestants can assist with runny or stuffy noses.
  • Use an inhaler when you have respiratory issues like coughing or wheezing.
  • Apply nasal corticosteroid spray to relieve nasal pressure.
  • To reduce inflammation, your doctor might also recommend medicines like prednisone.

Presentation of human metapneumovirus:

There is no vaccine to prevent HMPV. However, since HPV spreads through intimate contact, there are steps you may take to lessen your risk of infection.

Your risk can be reduced by:

  • Remaining away from ill people.
  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water before touching your mouth, eyes, or nose.
  • Getting immunized on time and visiting your doctor for routine examinations.
  • Close your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Aim to cough into your elbow, keeping other people away.
  • Clean your hands with alcohol wipes or hand sanitizers after you cough or sneeze.
  • Avoid contact with high-contact surfaces such as door handles and handrails.