Learn About Parainfluenza

What is the definition of Parainfluenza?

Parainfluenza refers to a group of viruses that lead to upper and lower respiratory infections.

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What are the alternative names for Parainfluenza?

Human parainfluenza virus; HPIVs

What are the causes of Parainfluenza?

There are four types of parainfluenza virus. They can all cause lower or upper respiratory infections in adults and children. The virus can cause croup, bronchiolitis, bronchitis and certain types of pneumonia.

The exact number of parainfluenza cases is unknown. The number is suspected to be very high. Infections are most common in fall and winter. Parainfluenza infections are most severe in infants and become less severe with age. By school age, most children have been exposed to the parainfluenza virus. Most adults have antibodies against parainfluenza, although they can get repeat infections.

What are the symptoms of Parainfluenza?

Symptoms vary depending on the type of infection. Cold-like symptoms consisting of a runny nose and mild cough are common. Life-threatening respiratory symptoms can be seen in young infants with bronchiolitis and those with weak immune system.

In general, symptoms may include:

  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Chest pain, shortness of breath, wheezing
  • Cough or croup
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What are the current treatments for Parainfluenza?

There is no specific treatment for the viral infection. Certain treatments are available for the symptoms of croup and bronchiolitis to make breathing easier.

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What is the outlook (prognosis) for Parainfluenza?

Most infections in adults and older children are mild and recovery takes place without treatment, unless the person is very old or has an abnormal immune system. Medical intervention may be necessary if breathing difficulties develop.

What are the possible complications of Parainfluenza?

Secondary bacterial infections are the most common complication. Airway obstruction in croup and bronchiolitis can be severe and even life threatening, especially in younger children.

When should I contact a medical professional for Parainfluenza?

Call your provider if:

  • You or your child develops croup, wheezing, or any other type of breathing difficulty.
  • A child under 18 months develops any type of upper respiratory symptom.
How do I prevent Parainfluenza?

There are no vaccines available for parainfluenza. A few preventive measures that may help include:

  • Avoid crowds to limit exposure during peak outbreaks.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Limit exposure to day care centers and nurseries, if possible.
What are the latest Parainfluenza Clinical Trials?
A Phase I Study of the Safety and Immunogenicity of a Single Dose of the Recombinant Live-Attenuated Respiratory Syncytial Virus Vaccine RSV ΔNS2 Δ1313 I1314L, Lot RSV#006A, Delivered as Nose Drops to RSV-Seropositive Children 12 to 59 Months of Age, RSV-Seronegative Infants and Children 6 to 24 Months of Age, and Infants 4 to 6 Months of Age

Summary: Human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common cause of respiratory illness in infants and children around the world. This study will evaluate the safety and immune response to a RSV vaccine in three groups of participants: healthy children who have already had an RSV infection (RSV seropositive), healthy infants and children who have not already had an RSV infection (RSV seronegative), and h...

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A Phase 1 Trial of the Safety, Tolerability, and Immunogenicity of BLB-201 Vaccine in Healthy Young Adults and Older Adults

Summary: This Phase 1 trial is an open-label trial to evaluate the safety, tolerability and immunogenicity of a single dose (10^7.5 PFU) of intranasal BLB-201 (a recombinant parainfluenza virus type 5) administered as a single dose in 15 healthy young adults ages 18-59 years, and 15 older adults ages 60-75 years.

What are the Latest Advances for Parainfluenza?
Impact of immunoprophylaxis with palivizumab on respiratory syncytial virus infection in preterm infants less than 35 weeks in Colombian hospitals.
Favipiravir in the Battle with Respiratory Viruses.
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Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date: August 03, 2020
Published By: Denis Hadjiliadis, MD, MHS, Paul F. Harron Jr. Associate Professor of Medicine, Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Ison MG. Parainfluenza viruses. In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 156.

Weinberg GA, Edwards KM. Parainfluenza viral disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 339.

Welliver Sr RC. Parainfluenza viruses. In: Cherry JD, Harrison GJ, Kaplan SL, Steinbach WJ, Hotez PJ, eds. Feigin and Cherry's Textbook of Pediatric Infectious Diseases. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 179.