Human Parainfluenza Viruses Facts

Human Parainfluenza Viruses Facts
Human Parainfluenza viruses are a group of four viruses that cause human parainfluenza. The four parainfluenzas cause the croup, upper and lower respiratory tract illnesses, bronchitis, and pneumonia. It is estimated that approximately 5 million children in the United States alone suffer from a lower respiratory infection every year due to HPV-1, 2, and 3. Of these roughly 25% develop significant disease as a result. One of the most common symptoms of infection by HPIV is inflammation of the airway. Mortality in developed countries due to HPIVs are rare, and usually only occur in the elderly, very young, or those with compromised immune systems. The highest risk in developing regions is to very young children.
Interesting Human Parainfluenza Viruses Facts:
Risk factors for acquiring HPIV infection include those who are malnourished, have a vitamin A deficiency, environmental pollution, overcrowding, and not being breastfed.
In undeveloped or developing countries, the risk of death to pre-school children from HPIVs can be 10% or more.
HPIVs are spread through coughing and sneezing, touching an infected person, touching an object or surface after an infected person has done so, and then touching one's own eyes, nose, or mouth.
HPIVs can live for more than an hour in the air and as long as a few hours on surfaces.
The most common time to contract an HPIV is in the spring, summer, or fall.
Types of a lower respiratory illness include croup, bronchitis, bronchiolitis, and pneumonia.
The symptoms of an upper respiratory infection include a fever, runny nose, and a cough.
HPIVs can also have symptoms such as a sore throat, sneezing, wheezing, pain in the ears, decrease in appetite, and irritability.
Some people have multiple infections with HPIVs during their lifetimes.
To help prevent infection with an HPIV a person should wash their hands frequently with soap, avoid touching their mouth, eyes, and nose without washing their hands first, and avoid those people that are already sick.
Some protection is provided to babies from HPIVs if their mothers breastfeed during their first few months of life. Breast milk contains colostrum which contains antibodies which are believed to offer some protection against HPIVs in early life.
People with an HPIV should stay home and avoid close contact with other people, always cover their mouth and nose when they feel a sneeze or cough coming, and keep surfaces disinfected.
While there is no specific treatment for HPIVs, treatment usually involves alleviating the specific symptoms a person experiences.
Antibiotics will not help a person with an HPIV unless they also have a bacterial infection.
Children who develop an HPIV should not be given Aspirin.
Ibuprofen and acetaminophen are commonly used to alleviate symptoms of an HPIV.
A humidifier or a hot shower can help to reduce a cough and a sore throat in some cases.
Disinfectants, antiseptics, and detergents are all able to destroy HPIVs. Soap and water also makes the virus inactive.
Places where the transmission of HPIVs frequently occur include medical facilities, schools, dorms, daycares, and chronic care facilities.

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