Author(s): Dr Tuomas Jartti, Bernadette van den Hoogen, Prof Roberto P Garofalo, Prof Albert DME Osterhaus, Prof Olli Ruuskanen
A new respiratory virus, human metapneumovirus, was recently identified. We detected this virus by PCR in ten (8%) of 132 consecutive children admitted to Turku Hospital, Finland, for acute expiratory wheezing (median age 7 months, range 4–25). The mean duration of hospital stay was 2·5 days (SD 1·6) and mean duration of respiratory symptoms was 19 days (8). The white blood cell count, C-reactive protein, and regulated upon activation, normal T-cell-expressed and T-cell-secreted (RANTES) concentrations in nasal secretion remained low, whereas interleukin 8 concentrations in nasal secretion were high. Human metapneumovirus is a clinically important causative agent of acute wheezing in young children.