What is human metapneumovirus (HMPV)?

By | June 1, 2023

While cases of COVID-19 and RSV have declined in recent months, another lesser-known respiratory virus has increased this past spring.

A report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on May 31 showed that positive PCR laboratory tests for human metapneumovirus (HMPV) in early March reached nearly 11%.

During the four years leading up to the pandemic, positive HMPV test results peaked at between 6.2 and 7.7 percent in March and April, according to the CDC. As the pandemic took off in spring 2020, HMPV declined and remained low until May 2021.

Human metapneumovirus has been around for a while, but these numbers are higher than they have been in recent years, so the virus is garnering attention, says Panagis Galiatsatos, MD, a pulmonologist and critical care physician at Johns Hopkins Medicine. of Baltimore and a medical spokesperson for the American Lung Association.

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