Human Parainfluenza Viruses (HPIVs)

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Human parainfluenza viruses (HPIVs) commonly cause respiratory illnesses in infants and young children. But anyone can get HPIV illness. Symptoms may include fever, runny nose, and cough. Patients usually recover on their own. However, HPIVs can also cause more severe illness, such as croup or pneumonia.

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About Human Parainfluenza Viruses

Describes the viruses, how they spread, symptoms and illnesses, prevention, treatment...

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For Healthcare Professionals

Clinical overview, and information on laboratory diagnosis, treatment, prevention...

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HPIV Seasons

General information about the times of the year when HPIV infections are most common...

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Resources & References

Links to resources and scientific articles about HPIVs...

HPIVs Are Not the Same as Influenza (Flu) Viruses
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  • There are many different types of viruses that cause respiratory infections. Two of those viruses are HPIVs and influenza (flu).
  • In the US, people get HPIV infections more often in the spring, summer, and fall. Flu is more common in the winter.
  • Flu vaccine will not protect you against HPIV infections.

Look at trends for HPIV infections in the United States.

How HPIVs Spread

HPIVs spread from an infected person to other people through

  • the air by coughing and sneezing
  • close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • touching objects or surfaces with the viruses on them then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes

Page last reviewed: October 31, 2019