Human Metapneumovirus or hMPV: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention
Human Metapneumovirus or hMPV- This is a pathological condition of the lungs in which there is development of upper and lower respiratory tract infections as a result of a virus called Human Metapneumovirus. This virus can affect people of all ages. This virus has been identified as recently as 2001 in Holland, Europe.
What Is Human Metapneumovirus or hMPV?
Human Metapneumovirus or hMPV was first detected in 2001 in Holland, Europe but it has been assumed that it has been causing pathological condition of the respiratory system for no less than 40 years across the globe. Human Metapneumovirus causes upper and lower respiratory tract infections and can affect people irrespective age. The upper respiratory tract infections can include common cold while the lower respiratory tract infections can include disease conditions like pneumonia or bronchitis but research suggests that Human Metapneumovirus affects children the most. This virus is transmitted by direct contact with the secretions through sneezing or coughing by affected people.
Causes Of Human Metapneumovirus Or hMPV
Human Metapneumovirus or hMPV is a negative single-stranded RNA virus which belongs to the family Paramyxoviridae and is related to Avian Metapneumovirus. Human Metapneumovirus is responsible for causing around 15% of all respiratory tract infections which are unrelated to any previously known etiologies. This virus is found across the globe. Studies show that by the age of 6 almost all children have been exposed to this virus. Human Metapneumovirus tends to cause mild respiratory tract infections but small children and individuals with a compromised immune system tend to get severe infections and may even need to be treated in an inpatient setting.
Symptoms Of Human Metapneumovirus Or hMPV
Some Of The Symptoms Of Infections Caused By Human Metapneumovirus Or hMPV Are:
- Runny nose
- Nasal congestion
- Sore throat
- Fever; high fever in severe cases
- Breathing difficulties
Diagnosis of Human Metapneumovirus Or hMPV
It is very tough to diagnose a Human Metapneumovirus and this may be the reason why this virus was detected as late as 2001 when it had been causing illnesses across the globe for more than 50 years. At present, only research laboratories and only a few commercial laboratories do testing for this virus. The most common way of testing this virus is through secretions normally from the nose or throat.
Treatment For Human Metapneumovirus Or hMPV
At present, there is no clear cut treatment for Human Metapneumovirus infections. Treatment is aimed at relieving the symptoms and depends on the severity of the infection. Treatment options for Human Metapneumovirus or HMPV includes:
- Breathing treatments
Human Metapneumovirus or hMPV Prevention
To prevent an infection from Human Metapneumovirus or hMPV, one needs to take the same measures as to prevent any form of viral illness. Some methods to prevent Human Metapneumovirus or hMPV infections are:
- Cover the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
- Do not keep used tissues as they may spread the virus.
- Make sure to wash the hands properly, especially if near an affected individual.