Viral Infections

  • Ann R. Falsey
Part of the Infectious Disease book series (ID)


Of the viral infections that cause disease in older adults, influenza is recognized as one of the greatest causes of morbidity and mortality. Pneumonia and influenza together comprise the fifth leading causes of death in persons aged 65 yr and older. Influenza viruses are enveloped ribonucleic acid (RNA) viruses that are classified as A, B, or C, based on stable internal proteins (1). The virus contains two major surface proteins, hemagglutinin (H) and neuraminidase (N), which can undergo minor antigenic changes leading to yearly epidemics or major changes resulting in influenza pandemics. Currently, there are two circulating influenza A viruses, H1N1 and H3N2, in addition to influenza B, present in the United States. H1N1 viruses do not appear to cause serious problems in older persons, possibly due to previous immunity (2).


Nursing Home Respiratory Syncytial Virus Herpes Zoster Attack Rate Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection 
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  • Ann R. Falsey

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