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Respiratory tract viruses 

Respiratory tract viruses
Chapter:
Respiratory tract viruses
Author(s):

Malik Peiris

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198746690.003.0076_update_001

Update:

Updated to include information on the SARS-CoV-2 virus causing the COVID-19 pandemic.

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date: 07 March 2021

Viral respiratory infections, including coronavirus, rhinovirus, adenovirus, respiratory syncytial virus, human metapneumovirus, parainfluenza viruses, and influenza viruses, are a substantial cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, most notably the COVID-19 pandemic. Transmission occurs through direct contact, contaminated fomites, and large airborne droplets, with long-range transmission by small particle aerosols reported in at least some instances of influenza and severe acute respiratory syndrome. Clinical syndromes affect the upper and/or lower respiratory tract, including coryza, pharyngitis, croup, bronchiolitis, and pneumonia. Each syndrome can potentially be caused by several viruses, and each respiratory virus can be associated with different clinical syndromes. Measles is a major cause of lower respiratory tract infections and fatality in tropical countries.

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