Causes and symptoms of parainfluenza



Causes and symptoms of parainfluenza

Paragripp is an acute viral disease characterized by upper respiratory tract infection, most often of the larynx, accompanied by mild intoxication.

For the first time the parainfluenza virus was isolated in Japan in 1952, a couple of years later R.Chenokom discovered new pathogens of this disease, which have much in common with influenza viruses, as well as pathogens discovered the day before in Japan. In 1959, isolated viruses were given the name of parainfluenza viruses.

The causes of the parainfluenza

The cause of the parainfluenza is the virus. Pathogen parainfluenza refers to RNA-genomic viruses (genus Paramyxovirus family Ragatuoviridae). Depending on the structure of the antigens, there are four types of the virus, the first three being similar to each other. The combination of antigens is quite constant. Pathogens of parainfluenza can rapidly multiply in living tissues, they are characterized by hemodysorbent and haemagglutinating properties. Viruses are tropic for epithelial cells of the respiratory tract, quickly inactivated by external environmental factors. At room temperature, viruses die after 4 hours, a temperature of over fifty degrees destroys viruses in half an hour.

Paragripp is spread by airborne droplets. The source of infection is a patient whose clinical symptoms are expressed in one form or another. In the first two to three days the risk of transmission of infection is maximal, in the next ten days the danger of infection also exists, but the probability is significantly reduced.

People are very susceptible to parainfluenza viruses. Immunity, which occurs after the disease, passes quickly, so the probability of a new infection is high, and parainfluenza during repeated infection proceeds more easily. In infants up to six months of age, passive immunity is retained and, in case of infection, the disease occurs in a lighter form.

When breathing, parainfluenza viruses enter the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract and penetrate the epithelium, causing the cells to reproduce in the nasal cavity, in the larynx and in the trachea. The destruction of the mucosal epithelium is accompanied by an inflammatory reaction characterized by classic symptoms: redness and swelling. In most cases, the larynx is affected, which causes a false croup, widespread among children. The inflammatory process is characterized by a slow development. Penetrating into the bloodstream, viruses can cause low-intensity viralemia that passes quickly, with moderately severe intoxication. Symptoms of parainfluenza

Symptoms of parainfluenza are very common among people serving in the army, and in children’s groups. Viruses of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd types are widespread and can cause parainfluenza throughout the year, but the most characteristic for the disease is autumn-winter seasonality. Pathogens of parainfluenza in 20% of cases cause acute viral infection among the adult population and in 30% of cases cause ARVI in children. The disease can be manifested in the form of individual cases and in the form of epidemic outbreaks. The most vulnerable to parainfluenza are children, the most vulnerable group is children under one year old.

Symptoms of intoxication in parainfluenza are less pronounced than in influenza, so the disease proceeds in a lighter form, but complete recovery occurs later.

Depending on the characteristics of the virus itself, the incubation period can last from two to seven days. The disease develops gradually, the symptoms of intoxication are poorly expressed. Parainfluenza is accompanied by headache, lethargy, chills, general malaise, a feeling of aches in the body. In most cases, the temperature is subfebrile, a strong fever is possible with high body temperature in the early days of the disease or in certain periods of the disease.

The characteristic symptoms of parainfluenza are noticeable literally from the first hours: these are signs of upper respiratory tract infection. The patient, as a rule, has a stuffy nose, he is worried about a dry (barking) cough, a feeling of sadness in his throat, hoarseness.

During the examination, the doctor notes a slight redness, in rare cases, swelling of the mucous membranes and the posterior pharyngeal wall, sometimes swelling and granular structure of the soft palate. The work of other organs and systems is not violated. In young children and adults who have a history of chronic respiratory diseases, the inflammatory process can spread to the lower parts of the respiratory tract and promote the development of bronchitis.

Adults in most cases carry parainfluenza easier than children. In the medical literature, cases of diseases occurring in a rather severe form with the expressed symptoms of intoxication, hallucinations, with complication in the form of inflammation of the meninges. If the disease lasts more than two weeks, then after the disappearance of the main symptoms for a while, there is still an asthenic syndrome.

Symptoms of parainfluenza can cause a number of complications, the nature of which depends on the age of the patient. In children of younger preschool age, the most dangerous complication is a false cereal. Its cause is often rapidly growing swelling of the mucosa and spastic contraction of the muscles of the larynx, accompanied by stasis secretions. False groats begin acutely, most often at night. The child wakes up from a paroxysmal cough, worries, gets frightened, can involuntarily urinate in bed. Breathing is difficult, the skin of the nasolabial triangle has a bluish tint, the voice is hoarse or husky, the heart rate is higher than normal and increases with time.

Among adults, the most common complication of parainfluenza is a secondary bacterial infection, namely pneumonia. The disease is mainly focal, but, nevertheless, can last a long time. As a complication of parainfluenza, in some cases, patients may have sinusitis, otitis, or angina.

Treatment of parainfluenza

Treatment of parainfluenza, as a rule, is symptomatic. The patient usually does not need to be hospitalized. Antiviral drugs (for example, amixin) sulfanilamides, which are prescribed when complications occur in the form of pneumonia, otitis, tonsillitis, etc., can be recommended from drugs. Stenosis of the larynx (false croup) requires hospitalization. The patient needs a hot foot bath, inhalation with steam. From medicines are shown corticosteroids and aminazine in the form of an injection solution.

Isolation of the patient is recommended. It should be in a separate room, which must be daily ventilated and wet cleaned in it. With outbreaks of parainfluenza in children’s institutions, inhalations of interferon are recommended twice a day throughout the period of rising morbidity. The solution of interferon can also be instilled in the nose 3-4 times a day. For prevention, adults can use oxolin ointment for intranasal application 1-2 times a day.


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