Symptoms and Treatment for Human Metapneumovirus (hMPV)

Human Metapneumovirus is a virus that manifests as a cold or flu virus. How serious the illness is depends upon which area of the respiratory system it attacks.

For most people who contract hMPV, the symptoms are cold-like, such as fever, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and a cough. Like other cold viruses, it will pass after just a few days and the patient can get on with life as planned.

However, in some individuals, the disease of hMPV manifests itself as a flu virus, concentrating on the lower respiratory system and causing flu-like symptoms. These symptoms include a more serious fever, trouble breathing, unusually rapid breathing, wheezing, diarrhea, a severe cough, and/or vomiting.

hMPV can be detected by sampling the respiratory secretions in the nose and mouth, but this test is not yet readily available. Most of the time, it is just treated like any other cold or flu virus.

Treating hMPV involves managing the symptoms, for the most part, like using Tylenol for fever and pain, antihistamines for the irritation, and for those who have difficulty breathing, breathing treatments. Antivirals can be prescribed in extreme cases.

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