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Viral respiratory tract infections are the most common disorders affecting humans throughout the world.
·More than 5 million children under the age of 6 experience lower respiratory tract infections (LRTI) each year in the U.S.  
·Between 50-90% of LRTIs in children are caused by viruses  
·Viruses are the fourth leading cause of hospital-treated pneumonia in otherwise healthy adults  
·Age – bimodal peaks  
·Children <10 years  
·Adults >55 years  
·Although a wide variety of viral agents are capable of causing LRTI in adults and children, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), adenovirus, influenza A and B, and parainfluenza 1, 2, and 3 cause 80-90% of LRTIs  
·RSV and influenza are viruses associated with significant annual morbidity and mortality, and which have available therapies  
·RSV causes 50-90% of bronchiolitis infections and 5-40% of pneumonitis infections in children  
·Influenza can cause significant disorder in adults and children  
Risk Factors
·Age – <2 years or >55 years  
·Compromised immune system  
·Preexisting chronic medical condition (cardiac, pulmonary, hepatic)  
Clinical Presentation
·Clinical presentation often does not distinguish viruses  
·Nonspecific symptoms of cough, fever, sore throat, rhinorrhea, hoarseness, bronchitis, croup and bronchiolitis  
·Infants, the elderly, and individuals with compromised cardiac, pulmonary or immune systems are at greatest risk for serious complications from LRTI  
·Severe viral pneumonia  
·Acute respiratory failure  
·Secondary bacterial pneumonia  

All information on this page is intended for your general knowledge only and does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.