Human metapneumovirus (hMPV) treatment available today

To treat your human metapneumovirus (hMPV), consult with one of our board-certified primary care doctors online to learn how to manage symptoms. This usually includes supportive care and OTC medication. Patients with chronic conditions like asthma and COPD may need a steroid like prednisone if wheezing or chest tightness. Get treatment guidance and, if necessary, a prescription to treat hMPV or refill an existing prescription online.*

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Commonly found in pediatric patients

Ease hMPV symptoms with guidance

*Prescriptions are provided at the doctor's discretion. Learn more about our controlled substances policy and how to save up to 80% with our prescription discount card. PlushCare doctors cannot treat all cases of human metapneumovirus. Our primary care physicians can conduct an initial evaluation of your symptoms but may need to refer you to a specialist or for in-person treatment. If you are experiencing life-threatening symptoms, seek emergency medical attention immediately.

Learn about human metapneumovirus (hMPV) 

hMPV (human metapneumovirus) is mostly an upper respiratory tract virus, presenting most frequently in the late winter as a "common cold". It can affect the throat, mouth, and nose. This virus triggers a classic infection, like the common cold. More rarely, it can cause lower-respiratory symptoms including asthma, COPD exacerbations, or viral pneumonia. Patients often develop it in winter or early spring, alongside the flu season. At least 4 lineages of hMPV exist: A1, A2, B1, and B2.

This virus is a common trigger for respiratory tract infections in the elderly, adults, children, and immunocompromised patients. Thankfully, it's most often a mild illness that comes and goes within a week or so. Most people have a couple of symptoms, which tend to dissipate on their own. Lower respiratory tract infections due to hMPV are relatively rare but can lead to worsening acute asthma symptoms, bronchiolitis, and pneumonia.

This disease spreads from an infected person through close contact. It spreads through respiratory droplets with an incubation period of around 3 to 6 days. It quickly spreads into the respiratory tract.

hMPV is most commonly recorded in pediatric patients. It can occur in children younger than 2 years. Around 90% to 100% of children are infected by hMPV by the time they turn 5 to 10 years old.

Roughly 5% to 10% of pediatric hospitalizations occur due to hMPV triggering acute lower respiratory infections. In fact, children who are younger than 6 months and have hMPV were 3 times as likely to be hospitalized compared to patients between the ages of 6 months to 5 years.

The gold standard for treating is supportive medicine, which includes ensuring adequate hydration, and medicines to reduce fever like acetaminophen and ibuprofen. If someone develops difficulty breathing with a high fever, they may have developed community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) and should seek in-person care right away.

Moderna has started a clinical trial against the virus. As of 2019, the vaccine passed the first phase for being well-tolerated. However, more research is necessary to study the impact of this vaccine.

Human metapneumovirus (hMPV) causes

  • When an infected person speaks, coughs, sneezes, or breathes, they can release aerosols and respiratory droplets into the air. These droplets can fall on all kinds of surfaces. You can get infected by touching a contaminated surface, such as a table, bed, door, or other surface.

    The virus can also be transmitted through direct contact with the infected individual, such as through shaking hands or kissing. A respiratory virus can live on surfaces for a couple of hours.

Human metapneumovirus (hMPV) symptoms

  • Human metapneumovirus creates symptoms quite like the common cold. If you have hMPV, you might develop these symptoms:

    • Nasal congestion

    • Fever

    • Runny nose

    • Cough

    • Asthma flare-ups (wheezing, shortness of breath)

    • Shortness of breath

    • Wheezing

    • Sore throat

    A case of hMPV could cause severe illness. Clinical symptoms for severe infections could progress to pneumonia and bronchiolitis (most common in children under the age of 2). hMPV has an average incubation period of 3 to 6 days. The duration of the illness can vary based on how severe the symptoms are. However, it usually lasts as long as other respiratory infections triggered by viruses, so generally around a week.

How to treat human metapneumovirus (hMPV) 

Supportive care is the most practical method for treating hMPV. Because this illness tends to clear up on its own, a healthcare provider can help suggest what may ease the symptoms. That means using OTC medication for controlling fever and pain or relying on decongestants for reducing sinus pressure.

You can also use a room humidifier or hot showers to ease the coughing and sore throat. Treatment to relieve the cold-like symptoms includes drinking a lot of fluids to avoid dehydration. While the body heals, people are advised to stay at home and rest. Doctors might recommend hydration with IV fluids, supplemental oxygen, and antipyretic agents.

A general consultation is an affordable method for managing the symptoms and reassessing the patient’s potential risk factors. A consultation can help patients find the right treatment. It is a proactive approach to the management of hMPV.

Because hMPV is a virus, like any other cold virus, it cannot be cured with antibiotics, because antibiotics only fight off bacteria.

Human metapneumovirus (hMPV) medication

  • To manage the symptoms of HMPV, patients can use:

    • NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs): Medicine like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) can help control fever and pain. They are a viable choice for curbing cold-like symptoms.

    • Pain relievers: Acetaminophen (Tylenol) can ease the pain and the fever. It is an analgesic drug used alone or alongside other medicines as an antipyretic agent.

    • Decongestants: For patients struggling with mild symptoms, like sinus pressure, pseudoephedrine can help. It can relieve nasal congestion.

    • Intravenous fluid hydration: If the patient is dehydrated and can’t handle oral hydration, doctors can administer IV fluid hydration.

    • Supplemental oxygen support: In severe hMPV cases, patients might need supplemental oxygen support, administered through mechanical ventilation or a high-flow nasal cannula. This is reserved for cases with acute respiratory failure and is administered in ERs and hospitals...

How to prevent human metapneumovirus (hMPV) 

There is no vaccine that can prevent hMPV or a particular antiviral therapy to cure hMPV. However, there are a few options you can try to avoid the spread of this disease and other respiratory diseases:

  • Don’t touch your mouth, nose, and eyes with dirty hands

  • Don’t spend too much time near someone who is sick

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, for a minimum of 20 seconds

If you do have cold-like symptoms, avoid close contact with others, as you can transmit the illness. When you cough or sneeze, put your hand on the nose and mouth. The human metapneumovirus infection spreads through respiratory droplets, so covering the nose and mouth should remain a top priority for avoiding respiratory secretions. Wearing a mask and/or staying over 6 feet away from others can greatly reduce the risk of spread.

If there is someone displaying common cold symptoms, don’t share your eating utensils and cups with them. Try to avoid spending time in close proximity to people and stay at home until the symptoms subside. Don’t forget to give your house a thorough clean and wash contaminated surfaces such as toys and doorknobs.

When to see a doctor for human metapneumovirus (hMPV) 

Human metapneumovirus infections tend to cause mild symptoms. Therefore, most patients don’t need to contact a specialist. Supportive care should be enough to mitigate the fever and pain. It should go away in 7 to 10 days. However, if the symptoms worsen and people start to experience difficulty breathing, or wheezing, book an appointment with a healthcare provider or seek in-person care immediately by calling 911 if your symptoms are severe.

To diagnose hMPV, your doctor will do a full patient and physical history. They might suggest lab tests to find which virus caused the respiratory infection. Often, though, hMPV will be added to a list of possible viruses that you may have which all cause common cold symptoms.

Human metapneumovirus (hMPV) treatment FAQs

  • What is human metapneumovirus?

    The human metapneumovirus infection is a seasonal disease and a classic respiratory virus. This pathogen causes lower and/or upper respiratory tract infections. It often leads to mild symptoms such as a blocked or stuffy nose, fever, and cough.

  • How do you get human metapneumovirus?

    Respiratory illnesses like these can most likely spread from close contact or direct contact with respiratory secretions of someone’s hMPV infection. You can also get it from touching contaminated surfaces with these secretions.

  • How long does it take to recover from human metapneumovirus?

    Most patients can recover in around 7 to 10 days. It is not uncommon for the symptoms to subside in 2 to 5 days. But, for someone with lung disease, asthma, or a weak immune system, it can take longer than that.

  • How long are you contagious with human metapneumovirus?

    This virus has an incubation period of 3-6 days, and it can be shed from 5-14 days after inoculation. The exact time of contagiousness is unknown. However, an infected adult who doesn’t have any symptoms could still transmit the virus. Experts are still working on a vaccine that could be a promising option for future clinical trials.

3 simple steps to request a human metapneumovirus (hMPV)  consultation

Step 1: Book an appointment

Step 1

Book a human metapneumovirus (hMPV) consultation appointment.

Book a same-day appointment from anywhere.

Step 2: Visit with a doctor on your smartphone

Step 2

Talk to your medical provider regarding your human metapneumovirus (hMPV)  concerns or cold symptoms.

Visit a doctor on your smartphone or computer.

Step 3: pick up at local pharmacy

Step 3

If prescribed, pick up a prescription for treatment.

We can send prescriptions to any local pharmacy.

Related conditions to human metapneumovirus (hMPV) 

  • Human metapneumovirus infections are often associated with acute respiratory illness (ARI) in both adults and children. The spectrum of disease in younger patients tends to vary from mild upper respiratory tract infection to lower respiratory tract infection. It can present itself as pneumonia, croup, or bronchiolitis.

    hMPV presents with similar symptoms to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Severe respiratory viruses such as these do require extra medical care. Learn more about some of the conditions with similar symptoms to hMPV:

Human metapneumovirus (hMPV) consultation pricing details

How pricing works

To request human metapneumovirus (hMPV) treatment, join our monthly membership and get discounted visits. Treatment for hMPV is mainly supportive and the cost will vary depending on the therapeutic option you need.

Paying with insurance



First month free



30 days of free membership

  • Same-day appointments 7 days a week

  • Unlimited messages with your Care Team

  • Prescription discount card to save up to 80%

  • Exclusive discounts on lab tests

  • Free memberships for your family

  • Cancel anytime

Visit price with insurance

Often the same as an office visit. Most patients with in-network insurance pay $30 or less!

  • We accept these insurance plans and many more:

    • Humana
    • Aetna
    • Cigna

Paying without insurance



First month free



30 days of free membership

  • Same-day appointments 7 days a week

  • Unlimited messages with your Care Team

  • Prescription discount card to save up to 80%

  • Exclusive discounts on lab tests

  • Free memberships for your family

  • Cancel anytime

Visit price without insurance

Initial visits are $129.

Book an appointment

If we're unable to treat you, we'll provide a full refund.

Human metapneumovirus (hMPV) treatment resources


PlushCare is dedicated to providing you with accurate and trustworthy health information.

  • American Lung Association. "Human Metapneumovirus (HMPV).", American Lung Association, Accessed October 16, 2023,

  • Cleveland Clinic. "Human Metapneumovirus (HMPV)." Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Accessed October 16, 2023,

  • "Incidence, Morbidity, and Costs of Human Metapneumovirus Infection in Hospitalized Children" Journal of Respiratory Infections, Accessed October 16, 2023,

  • "Human Metapneumovirus" Journal of Medical Research, Accessed October 16, 2023,

  • "Clinical Features of Human Metapneumovirus Infection in Ambulatory Children Aged 5–13 Years" Journal of Medical Studies, vAccessed October 16, 2023,

PlushCare content is reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, nutritionists, and other healthcare professionals. Learn more about our editorial standards and meet the medical team. The PlushCare site or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.