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Upper respiratory tract infections 

Upper respiratory tract infections
Chapter:
Upper respiratory tract infections
DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198729228.003.0040
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date: 19 November 2019

Zoonoses are infections naturally transmissible between vertebrate animal hosts and humans. Transmission may occur in a number of settings, ranging from indirect contact through food or drinking water to direct occupational exposure on farms during leisure pursuits or from pets. Some of the latter modes of transmission are particularly relevant to childhood infections. Careful history taking is the key to making a possible diagnosis of zoonotic infection. Although the overall incidence of zoonotic infections in Europe in recent years has remained remarkably stable, there have been some important changes in the incidence of individual diseases; some of these have been specific to individual countries, and others more widespread. Careful consideration of the likelihood of exposure should be done when assessing children in whom the differential diagnosis might include zoonoses; such an assessment will require a careful history of animal contact and travel. While the possibility of a zoonotic infection must not be overlooked, care must be taken not to over-investigate children for rare infections.

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