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Cold, Or Human Metapneumovirus?

Do you feel like recently you and/or those around you have been getting sicker in recent allergy seasons? AFC Portland’s very own Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Andrew Miller, has some insight on what’s going on and what may be causing this uptick in illnesses.

“The current allergy season is the worst that it’s been in years, so we are seeing a lot of visits for congestion, sore throat, and cough. These symptoms can all be attributed to a spike in seasonal allergies, but these complaints also overlap with a lot of viral or bacterial illness symptoms.

We all know about COVID of course, but there is a less well known virus making the rounds: Human Metapneumovirus, or HMPV for short. If you haven’t heard of it before, that’s because it’s historically been difficult to detect.

Fortunately, advanced PCR techniques do detect this virus. At AFC Urgent Care, our Respiratory Pathogen Panel does test for this. The RPP tests for many things. The panel looks for influenza, it detects RSV, it tests for COVID-19, it identifies common cold viruses and bacterial causes of pneumonia, and it detects HMPV.

No other urgent care in Portland has this testing capability, but AFC does and it’s been a game changer for our understanding of the current illness season: In May, our lab detected more HMPV than COVID. In fact, our lab detected twice as many HMPV cases than COVID!”

For many people HMPV is just a bad cold, but like RSV and other viral illnesses, it can be dangerous to young children, older seniors, and anyone with a compromised immune system. Feeling sick and need a thorough PCR test that looks for viruses besides just COVID? Call us today at (503) 305-6262 or visit our website by clicking here and schedule a same-day visit!