ALABAMA (WHNT) — It’s not a COVID surge, but lately, another respiratory infection going around is leaving everyone coughing and checking their temperatures.
Excessive chest congestion, horrible coughs, fever and shortness of breath make up the symptoms of the Huma metapneumovirus (HMPV), which are similar symptoms to COVID and RSV.
Despite the number of COVID and RSV cases falling this spring, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that nearly 19.6% of antigen tests and 11% of PCR tests were positive for HMPV. That’s a 36% increase from pre-pandemic numbers when the positivity rate was around 7%.
While the warm summer months help cases of cold, flu and other respiratory viruses decline, the amount of people suffering from HMPV is still higher than normal.
According to the CDC, the virus can cause upper and lower respiratory disease in people of all ages, especially young children, older adults, and people with weak immune systems. Severe cases could progress to bronchitis or pneumonia.
The estimated incubation period ranges from 3 to 6 days, and the course of HMPV can differ depending upon severity but is similar to other respiratory infections, like the common cold and RSV.
While medical experts say there is no specific treatment, vaccine or antiviral therapy for HMPV, thorough handwashing, covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, not sharing food or drink, refraining from kissing, and staying home when sick are all encouraged.