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An unknown virus closely related to the flu and Covid-19 has worried American doctors in recent months.

An unknown virus closely related to the flu and Covid-19 has worried American doctors in recent months.

Human metapneumovirus has developed with a sharp increase in the number of cases in the United States this winter. This virus, which attacks the respiratory tract, mainly affects young children, but also affects adults.

Besides Covid-19, influenza and the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which causes bronchitis, there is a fourth virus circulating in the United States this winter: human metapneumovirus (or HMPV). From CNNJohn Williams, a pediatrician at the University of Pittsburgh, promises that HMPV is “the most important virus you’ve never heard of.”

Press, The US Federal Health Agency publishes a studyIt explains that a significant increase in the number of cases has been recorded in recent months: 11% of patients tested in hospitals in March 2023 were positive there.

As dangerous as the flu and RSV

An underestimated rate because tests are few in number: a large proportion of patients do not know they are present. Be careful, especially since the symptoms of this virus are close to those of the flu or coronavirus France info: Lower tract lung infection, cough, cold, sore throat and fever.

Although it mainly affects infants and children 5 or under, it can also affect the elderly or vulnerable. “In severe cases of infection, it can cause suffocation and even fatal cases of pneumonia,” the media summarizes.

According to John Williams, human metapneumovirus is one of the “three major viruses” along with RSV and influenza. But unlike the flu or Covid-19, there is no vaccine or cure for human metapneumovirus.

RSV, influenza and HPMV are viruses that “can send people to the hospital and cause serious illness, often through nursing homes and can make the elderly very sick or even kill them,” the doctor warns.

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According to the survey The Lancet Published in 2020, it is estimated that more than 14 million young children worldwide were infected with HMPV in 2018, with more than 600,000 hospitalizations and at least 16,000 deaths.

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