Flu and parainfluenza states
Parainfluenza syndromes are diseases of various types that can be caused by about 250 different viruses. In most cases, the responsible pathogens are paramyxoviruses, but adenoviruses or enteroviruses can also intervene.
Parainfluenza viruses can cause manifestations of varying severity; the most common syndromes are respiratory (from the common cold to flu-like illnesses and pneumonia) and gastrointestinal.
Parainfluenza syndromes generally cause autumn epidemics (from the end of October to December) and spring (from March to April), therefore outside the period of maximum flu incidence.
The infection occurs mainly by air, through the droplets of saliva and respiratory secretions, directly (with cough and sneezing) or indirectly (through the contamination of objects and surfaces). Some parainfluenza viruses, such as enteroviruses, can be transmitted via the fecal-oral route.
The most frequent parainfluenza syndromes affect the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems.
In the first case, there is a disease affecting the upper airways, similar to a severe cold associated with a sense of fatigue, sore throat, cough and a few lines of fever.
Unlike the flu, whose symptoms persist for up to a week, parainfluenza syndromes, although frequent, are usually mild, self-limited and short-lived (usually, they resolve within three to four days of onset).
In the case of parainfluenza syndromes, a virological diagnosis is not necessary and there are no specific treatments. Therefore, therapy is symptomatic and may include rest in a comfortable environment and supplements that stimulate the immune system.