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J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc. 2016 Sep;5(3):303-11. doi: 10.1093/jpids/piv027. Epub 2015 May 20.

Incidence, Morbidity, and Costs of Human Metapneumovirus Infection in Hospitalized Children.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Utah Health Sciences Center, Salt Lake City.
Department of Pediatrics, University of Utah Health Sciences Center, Salt Lake City Intermountain Healthcare, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Intermountain Healthcare, Salt Lake City, Utah.



Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) causes acute respiratory tract infections in infants and children. We sought to measure the clinical and economic burden of HMPV infection in hospitalized children.


We conducted a retrospective cohort study from 2007 to 2013 at Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah. Children <18 years of age with laboratory-confirmed HMPV infection were included. Demographic, clinical, and financial data were abstracted from the electronic medical record.


During the study period, 815 children were hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed HMPV infection: 16% <6 months, 50% 6-23 months, 23% 2-4 years, and 11% 5-17 years of age. A complex chronic condition was identified in 453 (56%) children hospitalized with HMPV infection; this proportion increased with increasing age (P < .001). There was marked variation in annual HMPV hospitalization rates, ranging from 9 of 100 000 person-years in 2012-2013 to 79 of 100 000 in 2009-2010. Hospitalization rates were highest among children <2 years (200 of 100 000 person-years) and lowest among children 5-17 years of age (5 of 100 000). Of hospitalized children, 18% were treated in the intensive care unit and 6% required mechanical ventilation. The median length of stay was 2.8 days (interquartile range [IQR], 1.8-4.6) and did not vary by age. The median total hospital cost per patient was $5513 (IQR, $3850-$9946) with significantly higher costs for patients with chronic medical conditions (P < .001).


Human metapneumovirus infection results in a large number of hospitalizations with substantial morbidity, resource utilization, and costs. The development of a safe and effective vaccine could reduce the clinical and economic burden of HMPV.


HMPV; complications; disease severity; hospital cost; human metapneumovirus

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