URI and the Common Cold Virus Essay

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URIs, known as the “common cold”, are acute, self limiting viral infections of the upper respiratory tract. Children under six years are infected quite frequently, and experience such colds approximately 6-8 times per year, with symptoms lasting up to 14 days. Symptoms may include congestion, rhinorrhea, sneezing, cough, headache, slight fever, and malaise.

Rhinoviruses are responsible for 30-50 percent of the URIs in children and are present year round, peaking in September, March, and April. Other viruses accounting for URIs in children include respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which is common from November to March and in children less than two years old; Coronaviruses, which are common from November to February; influenza viruses, which peak in February (to be discussed later); parainfluenza viruses, adenoviruses, enteroviruses, and human metapneumovirus. These viruses may be transmitted via hand contact (and subsequent nasal/conjunctival inoculation), small airbourne particle droplets (from coughing) inhalation (except for rhinovirus), and large airbourne particle droplets (from sneezing) nasal/conjunctival inoculation. While exposure to a specific rhinovirus, adenovirus, and influenza virus, and enterovirus yields lasting immunity, there are multiple serotypes of each virus and therefore reinfection can occur. RSV, parainfluenza, and coronaviruses do not yield lasting immunity, although the course of reinfection is often less severe.

The incubation period…

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