Warning issued for deadly virus ‘you’ve never heard of’ and has no vaccine – symptoms to know

By Staff 6 Min Read

Human Metapneumovirus is a lesser-known respiratory virus and while most seasonal viruses can be shaken off or treated with over the counter medication, hMPV can not

People have been warned of a virus which is not very well-known but is similar to the flu and it has no vaccine.

While the population knows about coronavirus and the usual seasonal flu, another virus known as Human Metapneumovirus (hMPV) is less known. Unlike other viruses we can fight with medicine from the shop or stop with vaccines, hMPV doesn’t have these options.

Dr. Samer Sader, from Carle Health in America, says children and older people who are already very sick need to be extra careful as the virus can kill about 1 in 10 people who get it. He told the Daily Star: “The people we do worry about are the people who are getting treatments for cancer, people who are getting treatments for auto-immune disorders, and people who have chronic lung diseases such as bad emphysema, or COPD.

“It’s just a matter of watching for complications. We’ll ask patients, ‘Does your lung disease get worse? Do you need more medicine? Do you get secondary pneumonia? Do you get in trouble because you’re not eating and drinking enough? That’s what we look for.”

Last month it was reported Covid-19 jabs will be sold on the High Street as Boots became the first major pharmacy to sell them privately. The single-dose Pfizer vaccine will be offered at 50 stores from April 1 to anyone aged 12 or over for £99.

Free jabs on the NHS have been scaled back with Spring boosters only offered to the over-75s, care home residents and the immunosuppressed. Previously over-65s could get them.

It is the first time a Covid-19 vaccine has been available outside of the NHS since the mass vaccination programme was launched in December 2020 at the height of the pandemic. Dr Gillian Ellsbury, primary care medical director at Pfizer UK, said: “Covid-19 has not gone away and continues to be a threat.

“As we move from a pandemic to an endemic state, we need to ensure we remain ready to respond to this constantly evolving and unpredictable virus. Vaccines remain an important pillar in helping to prevent serious illness or hospitalisation as a result of Covid-19.

“By enabling the wider availability of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine we are facilitating choice and access for those that are not eligible to receive it through the NHS programme, but want the option of a Covid-19 vaccine.”

Healthy adults will now be able to get a Covid-19 jab for the first time since the main NHS vaccine drive ended in 2021.

Symptoms of Human Metapneumovirus:

Symptoms commonly associated with the virus include cough, fever, nasal congestion, and shortness of breath. Clinical symptoms of HMPV infection may progress to bronchitis or pneumonia and are similar to other viruses that cause upper and lower respiratory infections. The estimated incubation period is three to six days, and the median duration of illness can vary depending upon severity but is similar to other respiratory infections caused by viruses.

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