Diagnosis Parainfluenza

Sneezing woman

Back in the good old days, it was common for doctors to say, “The flu is the flu every year, all they do is tack on a different name every fall.” The flu may have been just the flu years ago but, due to the way we live now new viruses have reared their ugly head. The flu is no longer, “Just the flu.”

According to the CDC, there are at least 18 types of influenza and 11 different subtypes of influenza. To explain how these were originated and their signs and symptoms any further are lengthy, complicated, and confusing to most people. These kinds originate in entities from humans to ducks.

The Parainfluenza Virus (HPIV) Outbreaks are unknown

The parainfluenza virus makes up a group of viruses known as HPIVs which are broken down into four viruses, and each one causes a different type of illness presenting differing signs and symptoms. The one thing this parainfluenza has in common is that they affect either the upper or lower respiratory tract in humans.

Most times it is hard to diagnose the parainfluenza because the signs and symptoms are similar to the common cold. This virus and any other virus, as a matter of fact, require no treatment other than lots of fluids, rest, and NSAIDS as needed for aches and fever. That is if the person is healthy and has a good immunity.

If you have a chronic health problem such as COPD, asthma, cancer, lung cancer, heart disease, kidney disease, taking chemotherapy or radiation, and any number of illnesses suppressing your body’s ability to ward off infections and heal. The very young or seniors are at a higher risk of developing this virus.

If you acquire the parainfluenza, it could reap severe complications such as bronchitis, or pneumonia because it has attacked your already compromised lungs and can be life-threatening. Your immunity is already compromised, making it difficult for your body to fight back.

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Four Types of HPIV

Type 1 HPIV

This type causes croup in children. This virus frequently strikes children in the autumn

Type 2 HPIV

This type causes croup in children but is more difficult to diagnosis. This type strikes in the autumn months. However, Type 2 seen less than the Type 1 virus.

Type 3 HPIV

This type is responsible for causing pneumonia and bronchitis. This type strikes adults or children early in the summer months, in the spring, and throughout the year.

Type 4 HPIV

Little is known about Type 4 which has two subtypes Type 4A and Type 4B. This virus causes acute respiratory infections and is hard to diagnose. Researchers have yet to learn where this virus comes from, or how it plays into severe respiratory infections.

The Spread of HPIV

The incubation period is two to seven days

  • Lives on hard surfaces for up to 10 hours (shopping cart, countertops)
  • Close contact
  • Inhaling air when someone has sneezed or coughed

Common Symptoms Similar to the Common Cold

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Runny Nose/Stuffy Nose
  • Sore Throat
  • Shortness of Breath/Difficulty in Breathing/Chest Pain
  • Respiratory Wheezing

Possible actions your doctor may take

  • Nose or Mouth Swab
  • Chest-X-ray
  • CT scan of your chest


  • None except for the virus to run its course
  • Rest
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • If severe respiratory infection occurs, hospitalization

Prevention is the Best Cure

  • Wash hands frequently when out in the public
  • Carry with you a small bottle of antibacterial wash and use often
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Avoid close contact with others who have symptoms
  • There is no vaccine
  • Sneeze or cough into your arm or tissue, wash hands
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