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J Infect Dis. 2006 Jun 1;193(11):1544-51. Epub 2006 Apr 27.

The impact of infection with human metapneumovirus and other respiratory viruses in young infants and children at high risk for severe pulmonary disease.

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  • 1Fundacion INFANT, Buenos Aires, Argentina.


We conducted a prospective, observational study to characterize the clinical manifestations of respiratory infections caused by human metapneumovirus (hMPV) and other viruses in 194 premature infants and young children with chronic lung disease or congenital heart disease in Buenos Aires. Children had 567 episodes of respiratory illness and were monitored until they were 2 years old or until the completion of the study. hMPV elicited 12 infections (2%) year-round; 30% were of moderate or greater severity. Human parainfluenza virus type 3 caused 24 infections (4%), and 5 (25%) of 20 lung infections led to hospitalization. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) caused 33 episodes--17% of infections and 32% of hospitalizations during the respiratory season. None of the 10 children infected with influenza virus had severe disease. The present study of at-risk children suggests that hMPV and influenza virus are infrequent agents of severe disease and highlights the need for preventive interventions against RSV in developing countries.

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