A New Virus

A New Virus

The July 2002 issue of Infectious Diseases in Children tells the story of a new respiratory virus, first identified last year. Human metapneumovirus (hMPV) appears to be a significant cause of infections in children. A relative of RSV, this virus appears to be quite common. Evidence of infection has been found in up to 25 percent of babies studied between 6 and 12 months old.

Many moderate to severe cases of bronchiolitis or other viral lower respiratory tract infections that were not caused by RSV may have been caused by hMPV.

A lot remains to be learned about this virus, but it is our identification of the virus that is new – not the virus itself. Recently tested blood samples from half a century ago show that the virus has been common for a long time.

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Dr. Alan Greene

Dr. Greene is the founder of DrGreene.com (cited by the AMA as “the pioneer physician Web site”), a practicing pediatrician, father of four, & author of Raising Baby Green & Feeding Baby Green. He appears frequently in the media including such venues as the The New York Times, the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, & the Dr. Oz Show.

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