Important things to know about HMPV

Published: Jun. 8, 2023 at 3:18 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 8, 2023 at 4:06 PM EDT
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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) - Cases of Human metapneumovirus, or HMPV, are on the rise in West Virginia.

Despite the growing number of infections, many people have never heard of HPMV, or know exactly what it is.

Dr. Mark Povroznik with United Hospital Center says, “It’s respiratory and really resembles the common cold. Symptoms are usually cough, fever, nasal congestion, and potentially shortness of breath. It’s not entirely new.”

HMPV is spread from person to person, and like most viruses, it will resolve on its own.

“In healthy adults, it typically just resolves itself in a couple of days. But in severe cases, the virus can end up with a second infection, like pneumonia or bronchitis, but fatality with this is unusual,” Dr. Povroznik said.

As for the rising number of cases, Dr. Provoznik says the answer is simple.

“More widespread availability of virus panels to look for viruses outside of flu and COVID. They look for a whole host of viruses, including RSV, and it’s also a time for more aggressive surveillance regarding respiratory illness, so we may simply be capturing what was unintentionally underreported in prior years,” Dr. Povroznik said.

Dr.Povroznik says if you have symptoms that haven’t ceased in a few weeks, you should seek medical attention.