hMPV virus spike: Cases of cold virus spreads in NSW, Human Metapneumovirus

A recent surge in cases of a potentially deadly virus that you’ve likely never heard of has been ripping through one state.

NSW residents are coming forward with symptoms of the Human Metapneumovirus (hMPV) at an alarming rate, a new report has found.

“The virus you’ve never heard of but a virus that all of us have almost certainly had,” Dr Nick Coatsworth told 2GB radio station.

“It’s one of the common cold viruses that circulates every single year and NSW seems to be going through a little uptick at the moment.”

More than 1100 people reported a positive case of the respiratory illness last week, according to NSW health data.

It is a 15 per cent increase on the number of cases reported the week before.

Over the last month cases have spiked significantly with just 383 cases reported in the week ending on August 13.

Symptoms of hMPV are similar to the common cold including nasal congestion, coughs, shortness of breath and a fever.

Although some severe cases can cause complications that lead to bronchitis or pneumonia and can be more dangerous for immunocompromised and vulnerable groups.

However Dr Coatsworth it shouldn’t be a concern and an uptick in cases is common at this time of year.

“Usually that happens when you have a change of season, we see some of these non-Covid respiratory viruses when we go from winter through to spring,” he said.

More than 1400 cases of flu infection and 436 cases of RSV were reported in NSW last week.

Rhinovirus, the most common cause of the cold, remains the dominant respiratory virus reported in health department testing, but hMPV is taking up an increasing share (4.6 per cent) of the total load.

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