This article is reviewed, corrected, and approved by: Dr. Joshua Collins M.D. | MRCP। FRCP

Have you been feeling unwell lately? Got a cough that won't quit? Maybe you've been exposed to HMPV. Human metapneumovirus, also known as HMPV, is a respiratory virus that can cause various symptoms, such as a mild cold or even pneumonia.

A tiny virus can cause havoc in people's respiratory systems, and it can sneak into their lives without warning. It's especially common in young children, but adults can get it too. However, we are here to explore and uncover the facts about HMPV, so there's no need to fear.

What is Human Metapneumovirus?

HMPV is known to cause respiratory illness in individuals of all age groups, particularly those with a weakened immune system. HMPV is increasingly being recognized as a common cause of respiratory infections.

If you don't take it seriously, this can have serious health consequences. It can lead to hospitalizations and respiratory outbreaks in various settings.

The History Behind the HMPV or Metapneumovirus

Metapneumovirus (HMPV), also known as Human metapneumovirus, has emerged as a significant respiratory pathogen with a notable impact on public health. HMPV belongs to the Paramyxoviridae family and was first identified in 2001. HMPV is a common cause of respiratory infections, especially in children, older adults, and people with weak immune systems.

What Are The Causes of Metapneumovirus?

Metapneumovirus can spread through the air through sneezing. Credits: ReviewsFellas©

Through respiratory droplets and direct contact, hMPV has the potential to cause significant public health effects. Its transmission can occur even before symptoms manifest, making it difficult to manage its spread effectively.

Moreover, the lack of specific antiviral treatments or vaccines for HMPV increases the challenge of preventing and controlling its infections. Here are some of the risk factors for hMPV infection:

  • Close contact with an infected person
  • Children under 5 years old are more prone to this condition
  • Having a weakened immune system
  • Having a chronic respiratory condition, such as asthma or cystic fibrosis

Most people who are infected with hMPV will experience mild symptoms, such as a cough, runny nose, fever, and sore throat. While instances of severe complications arising from this condition are rare.

It is important to note that vulnerable groups such as young children or those with weakened immune systems may be more susceptible to experiencing these complications. Wheezing and pneumonia are two potential complications.

Metapneumovirus Symptoms (HMPV Symptoms)

High to mild fever is a prime metapneumovirus symptom. Credits: ReviewsFellas©

Human metapneumovirus (hMPV) can cause respiratory tract infections in individuals of all ages, including kids, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems. Here are some common symptoms of HMPV-

  • Cough, often persistent and may be accompanied by phlegm production
  • Sneezing
  • High to mild fever
  • Stuffy nose
  • Sore throat
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue or tiredness
  • Muscle aches and body aches
  • Wheezing or difficulty breathing, especially in individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions
  • Shortness of breath caused by exercise or physical activity
  • Rapid or labored breathing
  • Chest discomfort or chest tightness
  • Reduced appetite, especially in children
  • Irritability or fussiness, particularly in infants and young children
  • In severe cases, metapneumovirus pneumonia or bronchiolitis

HMPV can mimic symptoms of other related respiratory viruses, such as RSV and influenza. If you or someone you know experiences worsening or persistent symptoms, it's better to consult a healthcare expert.

Metaneumovirus Treatment and Prevention

Washing hands properly and frequently can prevent Metapneumovirus. Credits: ReviewsFellas©

Various respiratory illnesses caused by HMPV can occur, including mild respiratory illnesses such as common colds and pneumonia. The virus is capable of causing significant morbidity and can lead to hospitalizations, particularly in vulnerable populations. Moreover, HMPVs can contribute to respiratory outbreaks in various settings, including schools, daycare centers, and long-term care facilities.

To stop the transmission of hMPV, here are some preventive measures-

  • It's important to wash your hands with soap and water frequently.
  • Additionally, it's best to steer clear of individuals who are feeling unwell; when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose.
  • Lastly, make sure to disinfect any surfaces or objects that may have come into contact with the virus.

Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q)

Q: What are the human metapneumovirus long-term effects?

Ans: The hmpv virus can lead to various long term health issues such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, bronchitis, and pneumonia.

Q: Is hMPV contagious?

Ans: There is no doubt that metaneumovirus is contagious; it is spread by respiratory drops.

Q: Is HMPV treatable?

Ans: Infections caused by HMPV (human metapneumovirus icd 10) have no specific treatment. Recovery occurs on its own for most people.

Q: What are the human metapneumovirus death rate in the US?

Ans: The hospital mortality rate for hMPV infections was 10%, similar to the rate for influenza in ICU patients in 2021-2022.

Final Thoughts

If you have trouble breathing, fever, or coughing, it could be a symptom of metapneumovirus or HMPV. This is especially important if you are prone to getting sick or have a weak immune system.

Generally, after a few days, infected persons recover on their own. If someone faces any serious consequences, it is suggested to consult a doctor in the first place.