Management of upper respiratory tract infections in children

S Afr Fam Pract (2004). 2008 Mar;50(2):6-12. doi: 10.1080/20786204.2008.10873685.


Upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) occurs commonly in both children and adults and is a major cause of mild morbidity. It has a high cost to society, being responsible for absenteeism from school and work and unnecessary medical care, and is occasionally associated with serious sequelae. URTIs are usually caused by several families of virus; these are the rhinovirus, coronavirus, parainfluenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), adenovirus, human metapneumovirus, influenza, enterovirus and the recently discovered bocavirus. This review will mainly focus on the rhinovirus, where significant advances have been made in understanding the epidemiology, natural history and relationship with other pathogens.