Signs & Symptoms
An hMPV infection can cause cough, stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, and fever. A baby or young child with hMPV may feed poorly or be fussy, inactive, or sleepy. Serious infections can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and breathing problems. And in people with asthma, hMPV can cause a flare-up of asthma symptoms.
What can I do today?
Practice prevention—and stop the spread:
- Wash your hands often and well—and have children do the same.
- Disinfect tables, toys, counters, and other surfaces regularly.
- Cover your sneezes and coughs.
- Use a tissue once, then throw it away and wash your hands.
- When hMPV is going around, pay attention to any symptoms your baby may have. Most cases of hMPV illness are mild, but be on the lookout for more serious symptoms.
Call your child’s doctor if you notice:
- A harsh, barking cough (like a seal) that may signal croup
- Wheezing (a whistling sound when breathing in or out)
- Fast breathing (more than 40 times a minute) or very difficult breathing (retractions, or using the stomach muscles when breathing)
- Signs of dehydration (dry mouth and eyes, little urine, low energy)
- Fussiness, poor eating, sleepiness or low energy in a baby
- Fever higher than 100.2°F in an infant 3 months or younger
- Fever lasting longer than 3 days
- Any other severe symptoms or symptoms that last longer than 7 days
Symptoms of hMPV infection typically develop 3 to 5 days after being exposed to and getting infected with the virus. In otherwise healthy infants, the duration of viral shedding is 1 to 2 weeks.
Understanding the Infection Timeline
How It's Spread
The hMPV is spread by direct contact with an infected person’s saliva or nasal secretions (usually sprayed out in tiny droplets from a cough or sneeze). The virus can also live on surfaces and materials (tables, handrails, doorknobs, toys, furniture). If you get coughed on or touch a contaminated surface — and then touch your eyes, nose, or mouth — you can get infected.
Diagnosis & Treatment
Although testing can detect hMPV, most diagnoses are made on the basis of symptoms. Treatment for hMPV means managing the symptoms until the infection clears. However, bronchiolitis, pneumonia or other possible complications - like an asthma flare up- of hMPV infection may require medication and monitoring.
Disclaimer: The contents of this website are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.