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Protected: Human Parainfluenza Virus

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  • What is Parainfluenza?

    Parainfluenza viruses belong to the Paramyxoviridae family. They are enveloped RNA viruses. The clinical and epidemiological features can sometimes vary.

    People can get multiple Parainfluenza infections in their lifetime. These reinfections usually cause mild upper respiratory tract illness with cold-like symptoms. However, reinfections can cause serious lower respiratory tract illness, such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and bronchiolitis in some people. Older adults and people with weakened immune systems have a higher risk for severe infections.

  • How does it spread?

    Parainfluenza viruses are usually spread from an infected person to others through:

    • close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
    • droplets by coughing and sneezing
    • touching an object or surface with adenoviruses on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands
  • What are the symptoms of Parainfluenza?

    Upper respiratory illness from any Parainfluenza virus is generally common cold symptoms.

    Signs and symptoms may include:

    • fever
    • runny nose
    • cough
    • sneezing
    • sore throat

    Other symptoms of HPIV illness may include:

    • ear pain
    • irritability
    • decreased appetite

    It can also cause more serious illness including:

    • croup (infection of the vocal cords (larynx), windpipe (trachea) and sometimes into the bronchial tubes (bronchi)
    • bronchitis
    • bronchiolitis
    • pneumonia

    Symptoms of more serious illness may include:

    • barking cough
    • hoarseness
    • stridor (noisy or high-pitched sound with breathing)
    • wheezing
  • Why is this important?

    If NIAS staff are aware that the patient has a suspected or confirmed Parainfluenza this should be communicated to EAC and ED staff when transferring the patient to ensure effective patient care and management. It also ensures that staff adhere to Droplet precautions to prevent staff exposure.

  • IPC Precautions
    • Hand Hygiene should be completed as per the 5 moments in line with usual practice.
    • Eye protection should be risk assessed for any concern regarding a splash risk.
    • A Fluid Resistant Surgical Mask should be worn.
    • The patient should be transported via ambulance with no other patients present and asked to wear a FRSM if tolerated.
    • All equipment and the ambulance should have a deep clean paying particular attention to touch points.
    • Gloves and Aprons should be worn.
    • Laundry should be treated as contaminated, placed into an alginate bag and placed into a red laundry bag.
  • Do staff need prophylaxis or follow up?

    If appropriate PPE is worn there is no follow up required for staff.

    If staff have had a breach in PPE they should remain vigilant for any signs or symptoms. There is no prophylaxis required.

    The IPC team can be contacted for further advice. The team will be able to help staff risk assess the patient and precautions required and to provide support where required.