Wiki Wednesday 8-8-07

Time to learn something!

1. Go to Wikipedia.
2. Click on “Random article” in the left-hand sidebar box.
3. Post it!

You might want to skip this entry if you’re a hypochondriac, or highly suggestible to cold-like symptoms:

Human parainfluenza viruses (HPIVs) are a group of four distinct serotypes of single-stranded RNA viruses belonging to the paramyxovirus family. They are the second most common cause of lower respiratory tract infection in younger children. Repeated infection throughout the life of the host is not uncommon. Symptoms of later breakouts include upper respiratory tract illness as in a cold and sore throat. The incubation period of all four serotypes is 1 to 7 days. Parainfluenza viruses can be detected via cell culture, immunofluorescent microscopy, and PCR. Though no vaccines currently exist, research into vaccines for HPIV-1, -2, and -3 is underway. Parainfluenza viruses last only a few hours in the environment and are inactivated by soap and water.

The four serotypes include:

  • HPIV-1 (most common cause of croup; also other upper and lower respiratory tract illnesses typical)
  • HPIV-2 (causes croup and other upper and lower respiratory tract illnesses)
  • HPIV-3 (associated with bronchiolitis and pneumonia)
  • HPIV-4 (includes subtypes 4a and 4b)

Don’t forget to wash your hands!

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