Acute respiratory infections are one of the most common causes for presentation to a general practitioner. The range of symptoms associated with each infection can be wide ranging in both presentation and severity, depending on age of the patient, underlying co-morbidities and other confounding factors. In this chapter we describe the most common respiratory infections ranging from relatively mild infections such as the common cold, through to more serious presentations including pneumonia. Data are presented from a general practitioner morbidity surveillance system based in England and Wales. Each acute respiratory syndrome is described in respect of seasonality, secular trends and microbiological aetiology providing an insight into the complex nature of these acute respiratory episodes. The more serious endpoints of acute respiratory infections are hospitalisation and death. Many acute respiratory infections are mild in nature and generally self-limiting and therefore do not commonly require further medical interventions. However, despite major advances in the prevention and treatment of acute respiratory infections in recent years, hospitalisation and deaths continue to exert pressures on national health resources and provide an economic burden in countries across the world on an annual basis.
|Name||Birkhäuser Advances in Infectious Diseases|