Human parainfluenza is a category of viral pathogens containing four distinct virus strains. They cause upper and lower respiratory infections. And are most prevalent in young children.
Parainfluenza viruses are contagious, with the highest incidence of infection during the fall and winter. Infants, the elderly and immunocompromised individuals are at the highest risk for serious complications arising out of this infectious disease.
A human parainfluenza virus can be responsible for causing your:
- otitis media
- common cold
Respiratory syncytial virus is the leading cause of infant pneumonia and bronchiolitis, with parainfluenza coming in second. Also, an influenza virus infection is entirely different from a parainfluenza one.
The range of symptoms parainfluenza may cause include:
- chest pain
- sore throat
- runny nose
- shortness of breath
- wheezing, stridor, rales
Parainfluenza can cause life threatening respiratory symptoms as well.
Frequently, parainfluenza infections are mild and symptomatic treatment is all that’s necessary. Presently, no vaccine is available for this type of viral respiratory infection.