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Emergency Medical Minute


Nov 13, 2023

Contributor: Jared Scott MD

Educational Pearls

  • A recently published study assessed the burden of respiratory viruses in a longitudinal cohort of children from 0 to 2 years of age

  • The children in the study received nasal swab PCR testing weekly to determine infectivity

  • They were also monitored for symptoms via weekly text surveys

    • The study differentiated between infection and illness by defining an acute respiratory illness (ARI) as fever ≥38°C or cough. 

  • The median infectivity rate was 9.4 viral infections per child per year

    • The median illness rate was 3.3 ARIs per child per year

  • The most common etiological viruses isolated from the nasal samples were rhinovirus and enterovirus

    • Most infections were asymptomatic or mild


  1. Teoh, Z., Conrey, S., McNeal, M., Burrell, A., Burke, R. M., Mattison, C., McMorrow, M., Payne, D. C., Morrow, A. L., & Staat, M. A. (2023). Burden of Respiratory Viruses in Children Less Than 2 Years Old in a Community-based Longitudinal US Birth Cohort. Clinical infectious diseases: an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, 77(6), 901–909.

Summarized by Jorge Chalit, OMSII | Edited by Meg Joyce & Jorge Chalit, OMSII