Did you or anyone you know get sick at some point during the spring, but tested negative for COVID — despite having very similar symptoms?
It may have been a much lesser-known virus that surged for months.
Most were unaware of the respiratory virus known as hMPV, or human metapneumovirus, which can feel like a bad case of the common cold. But at its peak in mid-March, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention saw positive testing for hMPV at around 11% — which was about 36% higher than the pre-COVID average.
“The virus doesn’t cause a severe infection so we don’t always test it everywhere on every patient,” said Dr. Marina Keller, an epidemiologist who treats infectious diseases at Westchester Medical Center.
While the virus, which the CDC says was discovered just over 20 years ago, generally doesn’t lead to severe illnesses, in rare cases it can lead to pneumonia. And while the peak season for it is coming to the end, it is another virus to be aware of.
According to Dr. Keller, HMPV symptoms are similar to other respiratory viruses. Symptoms include:
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Nasal congestion
- Shortness of breath
“For most of the population, it’s like other respiratory viruses, common cold. But it can be more worrisome for people who have other medical problems,” said Dr. Keller.
Those with weaker immune systems are more at risk — younger children and the elderly, especially. As the urgency regarding COVID fades and many have ditched their facemasks in most settings, it could contribute to more cases springing up.
“It is definitely possible. As we take our masks off, get a little bit more lax with our common sense precautions for viral infection, that we do see more viruses,” Dr. Keller said.
It’s cold and flu season again, which means you could be left wondering which virus is causing your symptoms. Here’s what you need to know.
Dr. Keller says stay home if you or your kids feel sick. And, at the very least, there’s always one things that helps prevent viruses from spreading.
“Hand washing never goes out of style, prevents all kinds of viruses,” she said.
There is no treatment or vaccine for hMPV, though scientists are working on the latter. Symptoms can be treated with standard over-the-counter medications. The CDC said the estimated incubation period is three to six days, and how long those infected feel symptomatic can depend on severity, though it is similar to other respiratory illnesses.
How Is hMPV Spread?
Here’s how the virus can go from one person to another, according to the CDC:
- Particles or droplets from coughing and sneezing
- Close personal contact, like shaking hands
- Touching objects or surfaces that have the viruses on them then touching the mouth, nose, or eyes
The virus generally starts spreading in winter and lasts through the spring.
Source: NBC New York
Looking for an immigration bill that can pass? It’s health care
Steelers QB Kenny Pickett and Wife Amy Paternoster’s Relationship Timeline
Taylor Swift shows up at Chiefs game amid Travis Kelce dating rumors | Fox News Video
Australia on verge of Rugby World Cup elimination after 40-6 thrashing by Wales
Arizona woman arrested for keeping dozens of dogs in squalor, others dead in freezer
Best Yoga Mat for Hot Yoga, According to Experts in 2023
Saysh Felix Runner Review: An Everyday Training Shoe for Cushiony Miles
$10K Mercedes Sprinter Stealth Camper Has Security Cams, Kitchen, Bathroom
How to Stop Protein Farts and Smelly Gas From Ruining Your Workouts
The Biggest Red Flags to Watch Out For at the Dentist
US ag deficit no cause for another China trade war
Bruins takeaways: Brandon Bussi’s highlight-reel save and more from win over Rangers
Jets are sticking with Zach Wilson despite the quarterback’s struggles
‘When Calls the Heart’ Season 10 Episode 9 Recap: The Governor Visits Hope Valley. Plus, Is Elizabeth Having Doubts?
The Patriots finally crafted a blueprint to victory — winning in the trenches
Sport18 hours ago
This day in sports history: National anthem protests hit the NFL, Babe Ruth smashes records
Finance18 hours ago
The Top Ten Global Fintech Conferences: From AI To Zombie Unicorns
Travel18 hours ago
SAUDI ARABIA UNVEILS TOP TOURISM LEADERS AND GLOBAL MINISTERS
Finance16 hours ago
The Economic And Market Impacts Of A Government Shutdown
News18 hours ago
Voters kick up a stick over sewage as four-in-10 Tory supporters say they could back other parties if their MP votes against a ban on releasing human effluent into rivers
Travel19 hours ago
RIYADH SEASON 2023 PREPARES TO LAUNCH
Sport17 hours ago
NFL Week 3 preview: Cowboys’ dominance, Puka Nacua and more to know
News18 hours ago
Limited inventory drives up demand for fixer-uppers