Master Paramyxovirus with Picmonic for Medicine

With Picmonic, facts become pictures. We've taken what the science shows - image mnemonics work - but we've boosted the effectiveness by building and associating memorable characters, interesting audio stories, and built-in quizzing.


Recommended Picmonics

picmonic thumbnail
Parainfluenza Virus
picmonic thumbnail
Croup (Laryngotracheobronchitis)
picmonic thumbnail
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Assessment
picmonic thumbnail
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Interventions
picmonic thumbnail
Rubeola Virus


Paramyxoviruses are negative-sense, single-stranded RNA viruses with a nonsegmented genome that is responsible for a number of human disease including measles and mumps. Parainfluenza virus and respiratory syncytial virus are also paramyxoviruses, which cause croup and bronchiolitis in infants, respectively. These virions are enveloped with a helical shape, and they contain fusion proteins and attachment proteins on the virion surface. The surface fusion proteins lead to fusion of cells causing multinucleated cells, which can be useful for diagnosis.

This virus contains a viral envelope that covers its protein capsids. Viral envelopes are often used to help viruses enter host cells.

RNA Virus

This is an RNA virus, meaning its genetic code consists of ribonucleic acid, as opposed to deoxyribonucleic acid.


This virus has a helical shape as opposed to an icosahedral shape.

SS Negative Linear
SS Negative (-)

Negative-sense (3' to 5') viral RNA genome is complementary to viral mRNA. Therefore, the genome must be converted to positive-sense RNA by an RNA polymerase before translation can occur. Viruses with negative-sense genomes must carry an RNA polymerase inside the virion in order to replicate.

Nun on Segway

Paramyxoviruses contain a nonsegmented genome, in contrast to orthomyxoviruses, which have a genome that consists of eight segments.

Surface Fusion Protein Causes Multinucleated Cells
Surf-board Fuse with Multi-nuclear-shell

Paramyxoviruses contain fusion proteins that project from the surface of the envelope. This protein mediates cell entry by inducing fusion between the viral envelope and the cell membrane. Fusion of cells can lead to multinucleated cells that are characteristic of paramyxovirus infections.


Measles, or rubeola, is a syndrome caused by the measles virus, which is a member of the paramyxovirus family. Symptoms include fever, cough, coryza, conjunctivitis and a generalized rash.


Mumps is caused by a paramyxovirus and typically causes painful swelling of the parotid glands. The virus can also cause painful testicular swelling and aseptic meningitis.

Bronchiolitis in Babies
Brachiosaurus and a Baby

Respiratory syncytial virus is in the paramyxovirus family and is the major cause of bronchiolitis in infants and children. Bronchiolitis is inflammation of the bronchioles that usually occurs in children less than two years old. Infants with bronchiolitis typically present with coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.


Parainfluenza viruses are in the paramyxovirus family. Parainfluenza viruses are a common cause of respiratory tract disease in children and infants and can cause pneumonia, bronchitis and croup in children.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

Respiratory syncytial virus is in the paramyxovirus family and is the major cause of bronchiolitis in infants and children. RSV can be treated with palivizumab, a monoclonal antibody which binds to virions and prevents their invasion of host cells.


Take the Paramyxovirus Quiz

Picmonic's rapid review multiple-choice quiz allows you to assess your knowledge.

It's worth every penny

Our Story Mnemonics Increase Mastery and Retention

Memorize facts with phonetic mnemonics

Unforgettable characters with concise but impactful videos (2-4 min each)

Memorize facts with phonetic mnemonics

Ace Your Medicine (MD/DO) Classes & Exams with Picmonic:

Over 1,820,000 students use Picmonic’s picture mnemonics to improve knowledge, retention, and exam performance.

Choose the #1 Medicine (MD/DO) student study app.

Picmonic for Medicine (MD/DO) covers information that is relevant to your entire Medicine (MD/DO) education. Whether you’re studying for your classes or getting ready to conquer the USMLE Step 1, USMLE Step 2 CK, COMLEX Level 1, or COMLEX Level 2, we’re here to help.

Works better than traditional Medicine (MD/DO) flashcards.

Research shows that students who use Picmonic see a 331% improvement in memory retention and a 50% improvement in test scores.