For the past two years, the world has been concentrated on the coronavirus.

With that concentration on COVID-19, other sicknesses like the cold and the flu viruses seemed to take a backseat as flu cases hit an all-time low during the 2020-2021 season. Though, now, health officials say the flu is making a comeback.

Well, there is another virus that you need to be aware of - the human metapneumovirus (HMPV). It's the reason I missed work last week and is a cause of concern for local doctors. As a matter of fact, my wife spoke with our 14-month-old daughter's pediatrician about it last week while she brought little Adalynn to get a check-up after fighting HMPV for a week.

According to the CDC, HMPV was discovered in 2001 and "can cause upper and lower respiratory disease in people of all ages, especially among young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems." My wife was the first person in our family to become sick with HMPV only weeks after the birth of our son. Then, my daughter and I became sick. Fortunately, my newborn son never did.

Allergy, Clod, Flu - Blowing nose
conradcress, ThinkStock Images

Symptoms of HMPV include:

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Nasal congestion
  • Shortness of breath

It's that last symptom that can leave many people wondering if they have COVID when they may have HMPV instead.

For the record, all three of us tested negative for COVID.

The scary thing about this virus is that it can progress to bronchitis or pneumonia if you don't address it early enough.

As you can see in the CBS19 report below, HMPV hit one Nacogdoches deputy very hard:

Personally, as soon as I started feeling symptoms, I immediately began taking strong over-the-counter meds to combat it.

KPEL Photo
KPEL Photo

I stayed away from the public for more than the estimated incubation period that the CDC mentioned - 3 to 6 days - because I did not want to get my co-workers sick.

Now, parents can relate to this: It's much harder to recover from sickness when you have little kids as opposed to when it was just you or you and your spouse. Babies and toddlers, especially when they are sick themselves, require so much from you. Parents may be able to take sick days from work but not from home life.

I write this not to scare any of you but to make you aware of HMPV - if you aren't already - so you can take the fight to it before it takes the fight to you.

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