New South Wales (NSW), Australia, has seen a spike in cases of the Human Metapneumovirus (HMPV), almost double the number recorded last week.
Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) has been on the medical radar since the early 2000s and NSW authorities say the number of weekly cases has jumped from 648 at the beginning of the month to 1,168 in the week ending September 17.
University of Sydney senior researcher and virologist John-Sebastian Eden said the symptoms were similar to that of a common cold. You can guess by the “pneuma” in the name.
Its symptoms are very similar to those of COVID-19, the flu, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
“For most healthy adults, you probably wouldn’t be a differentiator from COVID or flu … or just really having a cold or having a bad cough,” he said.
Dr. Eden said there are no antiviral drugs used to treat HMPV, nor is there a vaccine.
“There are no specific drugs for these viruses. So it’s just managing the symptoms until the immune system kicks in and takes care of the virus,” he said.
“If you’re sick, stay at home, wash your hands, look after your kids if they’ve got some infection or something like that, and just stay away from other people if you’ve got a respiratory infection.”
If you have the virus, NSW Health advice is to:
- Stay home if you have cold or flu symptoms
- Wash or sanitize your hands often
- Wear a mask in crowded, indoor places
- Get together outdoors or in large, well-ventilated spaces with open doors and windows
- Don’t visit people who are at higher risk of severe illness if you have cold or flu symptoms.
Four cases of the Powassan virus broke out in the US according to state health officials in Connecticut.
The four residents tested positive for the tick-borne virus this year, according to a report made on Monday by the Department of Public Health.
Two of the patients were older than 60-year-old men from Middlesex and Litchfield counties. According to the DPH, they fell ill towards the start of July.
The other two cases were older than 50-year-old females. They fell ill in late July, and they were Litchfield and Windham County residents.
All of the patients had antibodies to Powassan, or POWV, according to laboratory testing conducted at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Laboratory in Ft. Collins, Colorado.
According to the DPH, the individuals were hospitalized for a central nervous system disorder and claimed having been bitten by a tick. Since then, they were released and making a full recovery.
“The identification of four Connecticut residents with Powassan virus-associated illness emphasizes the importance of taking actions to protect yourself from tick bites from now through the late fall,” said DPH commissioner Manisha Juthani, MD.
“Using insect repellent, avoiding areas where ticks are likely, and checking carefully for ticks after being outside can reduce the chance of you or your children being infected with this virus.”
“In recent years we have been receiving a higher than usual number of ticks, and this year so far, the laboratory has received 4,616 tick submissions, including 3,089 blacklegged ticks, from state residents directly or through health departments and physicians’ offices, in comparison to 1,889 blacklegged ticks in 2022,” said Dr. Goudarz Molaei, a chief scientist who also directs the Connecticut Tick and Tick-borne Pathogen Surveillance Program at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.
“The persistent and expanding threat posed by blacklegged ticks, coupled with ongoing range expansion and establishment in new areas of invasive ticks, the Asian long horned tick, the Gulf Coast tick, and the lone star tick, and the confirmation of four Powassan virus disease cases in Connecticut residents, highlights the increasing public health challenges associated with ticks and tick-borne diseases.”
Six cases of POWV-related disease were documented in Connecticut between 2016 and 2022, according to the DPH. Last year, there were two illnesses that were fatal.
People can contract the Powassan virus by being bitten by an infected blacklegged or deer tick. POWV illness symptoms can appear one week to one month after being bitten by an infected tick, and the virus can spread in as little as 15 minutes after the tick initially attaches.
According to the DPH, illnesses linked to the Powassan virus have been reported from early spring to late fall.
While the majority of POWV patients probably experience no symptoms or a mild flu-like disease, a small number of patients will experience a serious condition that damages the central nervous system. According to the DPH, one in ten cases of a serious disease result in death, and half of those who survive have ongoing health issues.
In severe cases, symptoms such as a fever, nausea, headache, or weakness may appear first before quickly progressing to confusion, lack of coordination, difficulty speaking, or seizures.
For illnesses linked to POWV, there is neither a vaccine nor a specific treatment. Supportive therapy, which may include hospitalization, breathing assistance, and hydration, is used to treat severe sickness.
Moving to Covid in the US, a new and deadly Covid virus called Arcturus was reported months after Pfizer through a top staff, Trishton Walker, was confronted for creating its mutations in their labs.
The new Covid, XBB.1.16 variant which is also called Arcturus has been on the watch by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control And Prevention(CDC) after its discovery following spikes in fresh cases of infection of the coronavirus in India.
According to Our World in Data, new daily cases hit 5,555 two days ago on April 11. This is up from 353 recorded one month earlier.
New cases of infection from Arcturus have also been reported in the U.S., Australia, and Singapore, with the I Get Talk reporting that cases in kids under the age of 12 years old are on the rise.
According to a report from the Office for National Statistics, after a random analysis were done on Britains, where 100,000 were randomly swabbed and tested, it was concluded that almost 1.7 million people in the UK were carrying the virus on any given day in the week to March 13.
All the Information About The New Covid Virus – Arcturus
Arcturus is a subvariant combination of the other two subvariants of the Omircon variant. In late March, the WHO declared the virus a “variant under monitoring”, adding that it is the most transmissible variant of Covid-19 so far discovered.
According to Dr. Vipin M Vashishtha, a pediatrician and former head of the Indian Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Immunization, some of the symptoms of Arcturus infection are high fever, cough, and another symptom that was not seen with the previous Covid variants – itchy conjunctivitis or pinkeye.
Several studies report that Omicron and its sub-lineages are still the most common Covid variant, most of the discovered variants have little or no significant transmissibility, disease severity, or immune escape.