Parainfluenza (PIV) Infection in Children

Parainfluenza (PIV) Infection in Children

What Is Parainfluenza?

Parainfluenza refers to a group of infections called the human parainfluenza viruses (HPIVs). There are four infections in this group, and every one causes various symptoms and health problems. All kinds of HPIV cause an infection in either the upper or lower breathing area of the body.

Symptoms of HPIVs resemble those of the acute rhinitis. When cases are mild, the viruses are typically misdiagnosed. The majority of healthy individuals infected with an HPIV recover without any treatment. On the other hand, a person with a weakened immune system is at risk for establishing a serious and life-threatening infection.

What Are the Types of Parainfluenza Viruses?

There are four various types of HPIV. Although they all cause a breathing infection, the specific kind of infection, the symptoms, and the place of the infection depend on the kind of infection you have. The 4 types of HPIV can contaminate anybody.


HPIV-1 is the leading reason for croup in children. Croup is a swelling near the vocal cables and in other parts of the upper respiratory system. Inning accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HPIV-1 is accountable for biennial outbreaks of croup in the autumn. In the United States, the outbreaks tend to be more extensive in odd-numbered years.


HPIV-2 also causes croup in children, but physicians find it much less frequently than HPIV-1. It’s seen primarily in the autumn but to a lesser degree than HPIV-1.


An infection by HPIV-3 is mostly associated with pneumonia and bronchiolitis, which is a swelling in the airways that results in the lungs. It causes infections mostly in the spring and early summer, but it appears in people throughout the year.


There two subtypes of HPIV-4 are HPIV-4A and HPIV-4B. HPIV-4 is hardly ever included in evaluating panels for acute respiratory infections. This omission may be making it hard to comprehend its occurrence and its role in severe respiratory infections. Any pattern in HPIV-4 outbreaks is currently unknown.

Parainfluenza infection (PIV) infections are an essential reason for morbidity in children with upper or lower respiratory tract infection (URTI and LRTI respectively). Nevertheless, the public health of PIV infections in children with cancer has actually not been well studied.

Parainfluenza (PIV) Infection in Children

How Is Parainfluenza Transferred?

An HPIV can contaminate you in a couple of methods. An HPIV can make it through on a hard surface for approximately 10 hours. If you touch a contaminated surface area with your hands and then touch your nose or mouth, you can become infected. The infections can also infect you through droplets or close contact with an infected person. It typically takes in between two and seven days after infection for symptoms to happen.

What Are the Symptoms of Parainfluenza?

Typical symptoms of the 4 types of HPIV are really similar to those of the common cold. They consist of:

Most often, the symptoms of parainfluenza viruses aren’t severe sufficient to cause issue in healthy adults. They can, however, be dangerous in a baby, older persons, or anybody else with a jeopardized or compromised immune system. If you have HPIV symptoms, you should see a doctor or go to the emergency room.

How Is Parainfluenza Identified?

In many cases, your doctor won’t trouble to detect your specific HPIV. Because healthy adults can recuperate generally without any treatment, there’s no requirement for an exact diagnosis. If, nevertheless, you have a compromised immune system, your doctor might want to confirm that you have a specific HPIV.

Your doctor might simply do a physical exam to identify if your symptoms match those of HPIVs. For a more precise medical diagnosis, your doctor might take a throat or nose swab to identify the existence of a virus and to determine it in a cell culture. Your doctor can also detect a specific virus by spotting antigens that your body has actually made to eliminate the virus.

Your doctor might purchase a chest X-ray or a CT scan of your chest. These are both imaging techniques that enable your doctor to see what’s occurring in your respiratory system. They can assist your doctor identify the level of symptoms and whether you have complications such as pneumonia.

What Are the Treatments for Parainfluenza?

There’s no treatment that can remove HPIV from the body. When infected with HPIV, you simply need to let it run its course.

Symptoms, nevertheless, can be treated with non-prescription medications like saline nose drops and analgesics like aspirin or acetaminophen. Do not offer aspirin to a child or teen who has a fever and a viral infection. When provided as treatment for a viral health problem, aspirin has been connected with Reye’s syndrome, a serious and possibly fatal disorder.

How Can I Avoid Parainfluenza?

There are actions you can require to avoid infection with an HPIV. You need to wash your hands regularly and decontaminate surface areas that can harbor the infections. Avoiding close contact with infected individuals can also lower your risk of ending up being infected. There’s presently no vaccine that avoids HPIVs.

What Is the Long-Term Outlook for Parainfluenza?

An HPIV isn’t a severe health problem for many people. The symptoms can be really unpleasant for numerous days, but as long as your body immune system is working appropriately, you must be able to eradicate the infection.

The following individuals are at an increased risk of an HPIV infection:

  • infants
  • really kids
  • older persons
  • anybody with a weakened body immune system

With medical treatment, nevertheless, recover is possible.


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