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J Infect Dis. 2003 Mar 1;187(5):785-90. Epub 2003 Feb 24.

Human metapneumovirus infections in young and elderly adults.

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Infectious Diseases Unit, Rochester General Hospital, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, 1425 Portland Avenue, Rochester, NY 14621, USA.


Human metapneumovirus virus (hMPV) is a newly discovered respiratory pathogen with limited epidemiological data available. Cohorts of young and older adults were prospectively evaluated for hMPV infection during 2 winter seasons. Patients hospitalized for cardiopulmonary conditions during that period were also studied. Overall, 44 (4.5%) of 984 illnesses were associated with hMPV infection, and 9 (4.1%) of 217 asymptomatic subjects were infected. There was a significant difference in rates of hMPV illnesses between years 1 and 2 (7/452 [1.5%] vs. 37/532 [7.0%]; P<.0001). In the second year, 11% of hospitalized patients had evidence of hMPV infection. Infections occurred in all age groups but were most common among young adults. Frail elderly people with hMPV infection frequently sought medical attention. In conclusion, hMPV infection occurs in adults of all ages and may account for a significant portion of persons hospitalized with respiratory infections during some years.

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