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Acute respiratory illness in the community. Frequency of illness and the agents involved

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 May 2009

A. S. Monto
Affiliation:
Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
K. M. Sullivan
Affiliation:
Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
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Investigations of respiratory illnesses and infections in Tecumseh. Michigan. USA, were carried out in two phases, together covering 11 years. During the second phase, there were 5363 person-years of observation. Respiratory illness rates in both males and females peaked in the 1–2 year age group and fell thereafter. Adult females had more frequent illnesses than adult males; illnesses were less common in working women than in women not working outside the home. Isolation of viruses fell with increasing age; rhinoviruses were the most common isolate. Influenza infection rates, determined serologically, suggested relative sparing of young children from infection with type A (H1N1) and type B. Infection rates were highest in adult age groups for type A (H3N2). The isolation and serological infection rates were used to estimate the extent to which laboratory procedures underestimated the proportion of respiratory illnesses caused by each infectious agent; data from other studies were also used in this estimation. Severity of respiratory illnesses was assessed by the proportion of such illnesses that resulted in consultation of a physician. Rhinoviruses produced the greatest number of consultations. Overall, physician consultations were associated with 25.4% of respiratory illnesses.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1993

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