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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Feb 4, 2024.

What is parainfluenza?

Parainfluenza is a very contagious type of viral respiratory infection. It is caused by any of the 4 kinds of human parainfluenza viruses. These viruses can cause croup, bronchitis, bronchiolitis, ear infections, or pneumonia in adults and children. Parainfluenza is easily spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or has close contact with others. Anyone can get a parainfluenza infection, but they are more common in infants and young children.

What are the signs and symptoms of parainfluenza?

How is parainfluenza diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms and examine you. Tell him or her if you have been around sick people or traveled recently. You may need any of the following:

How is parainfluenza treated?

No specific treatment is available for a parainfluenza infection. You may need any of the following to relieve your symptoms:

How can I manage my symptoms?

How can I help prevent parainfluenza?

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.