Broncopulmonary Offers Practical Tips for Fighting the Most Circulating Respiratory Virus in Recent Weeks – Red Note

Metapneumovirus is a respiratory virus that affects humans and is believed to have originated in birds, similar to avian influenza. It is relatively new, being described as far back as the early 2000s, but it has been known to infect humans for at least 70 years.

“Metapneumovirus,” despite its strange name, is responsible for what most of us know as the “common cold,” according to an epidemiological report published by MINSAL in recent weeks. The most transmissible respiratory virus in our country. regions and countries. You may have been sick in the past few days, or have more than one acquaintance with the coughing, stuffy nose and general malaise that most people with this virus experience. In this regard, Dr. Yan Carlo Bahamondes, a bronchopulmonary specialist at La Serena Hospital, specifically called for practical advice for prevention and to pay great attention to warning signs, especially in extreme age groups, since the virus mainly attacks 4-year-olds The following children and the elderly.

Regarding the symptoms, the expert elaborated that “nearly 100% of patients develop a cough followed by nasal congestion, which may even become severe; in any case, fever is very rare in this case, but in immunosuppressed people or transplant recipients In high-risk groups such as those who are at high risk, they may experience elevated body temperatures, reaching 38 or 39 degrees.” For Dr. Bahamundes, a very characteristic feature of the cold is respiratory distress. “The virus causes some people to have what’s called chest wheezing, which they hear like whistling, and may also show A thirst for air, which is a feeling that you can’t breathe or the air can’t get in, and a lot of times people start opening the windows because of the lack of air circulation and feeling breathless,” and if this is the case, doctors point out that this is a telltale sign, It indicates that the condition is becoming more complicated, and you should go to the health center for consultation immediately.

Metapneumovirus attacks 40 percent of children under 4 years of age and another 40 percent of older adults, so to the warning signs above, doctors add others to keep in mind. “If an elderly person has cold symptoms and is having difficulty breathing, combined with refusing food, not wanting to drink, or appearing putrid, that person may be at risk of severe dehydration, which can make the situation worse; so in general, we have to be very mindful of the high risk Symptoms in the crowd, especially if the patient says he is short of breath, or his lips or nails turn purple or blue, clearly reflect a lack of oxygen. A help center should be consulted immediately”.

In addition, doctors from the Adult Intensive Care Unit of La Serena Hospital explained that “in a particular group of patients, those with risk factors, such as the elderly or people with conditions with reduced resistance, the virus can Pneumonia, even severe pneumonia, eventually requires mechanical ventilation.

The professional explained that this respiratory virus has a very clever “grace” and is able to escape defenses, which is why it is highly contagious, “It usually causes outbreaks, especially in places where people are relatively closed or crowded, It spreads where “infection is easy; for example, in prisons, nursing homes, or in susceptible and overcrowded areas, infection of one person has been described as sufficient to cause a large number of people to collapse”.

Currently, current medicine only has a vaccine against influenza, so the recommendations for management and prevention are the same as we have learned during the pandemic. “As a highly contagious respiratory virus, it can spread from person to person because it spreads through particles of saliva that people typically produce when they talk, sneeze or blow on air,” Dr Bahamundes said.

What can we do to prevent its contagion?

The bronchopulmonary specialist at La Serena Hospital emphasized that the main recommendation is to wash hands, “because then we can reduce the amount of virus carried on our hands, and at the same time use masks in closed places, such as workplaces, when people travel in groups, in Shopping malls, people’s request is to avoid crowds. Advise the elderly not to come into contact with sick people, avoid taking them to crowded or poorly ventilated places, avoid risks and overexposure unless absolutely necessary.

Experts emphasized that “there are currently no medicines to treat these respiratory viruses, but the only thing to do is to treat the symptoms. In this case, the only vaccine we have is against the flu, so it is important to get vaccinated to avoid superinfection. The situation is further complicated.”

When to consult?

Consulting should be done when a patient is already in respiratory distress, the professional explained, “If I see him starting to have these symptoms and his breathing rate increases, like he’s been exercising, we can even notice on his neck There are obvious marks, because the neck muscles are stretched, as if breathing hard; the same happens on the ribs, if the ribs are marked or sunken, and the patient says he is short of breath, does not want to eat, or has a fever, then the patient must immediately See a doctor.”

Regarding the incubation period, Dr. Bahamundes explained, “The incubation period is 3 to 5 days, and then you have to add another 3 to 5 days, which is the total contagious period, so a person is infected for about 6 days, and recovery is generally very fast. Fast, everything resolves after a week, but the cough can persist for longer, with patients reporting a dry or coughing cough that can even last up to 6 weeks in some cases.”

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