Viral infections of the respiratory tract are responsible for large amounts of time lost from the workplace and significant morbidity and mortality in the very young and the very old. The worldwide pandemic of influenza in 1918 was alone responsible for nearly 30 million deaths in excess of those expected for influenza. National Health Survey data for 1978 in the United States showed that acute respiratory illness accounted for 50% of all disabling conditions annually.1 That rate has continued unchanged for nearly 20 years. The common cold accounts for 40% of the respiratory illness and translates to more than 100 million disabling colds per year.
KeywordsInfluenza Virus Respiratory Syncytial Virus Measle Virus Common Cold Acute Respiratory Illness
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