Community respiratory viruses long have been recognized as primary respiratory pathogens among infants and young children. More recently, it has become clear that these viruses cause a considerable disease burden throughout life. The consequences of repeated infections are most evident in elderly and immunocompromised persons. Even in otherwise healthy persons, reinfections often require medical attention but generally are undiagnosed and unrecognized. These reinfections may spread from healthy persons to those at highest risk. Control requires a multifaceted approach combining vaccination, chemoprophylaxis, and aggressive early antiviral treatment of high-risk individuals, as well as education of all populations affected by these viruses.
Copyright 2003 American Cancer Society.DOI 10.1002/cncr.11353