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Respiratory tract infections are among the most common presenting complaints of patients in both hospital and community settings. They are a considerable burden in terms of both patient morbidity and public health interventions. Laboratory diagnosis of respiratory tract infections should provide guidance in therapy and prognosis, as well as useful epidemiological information reflecting trends in the community. Understanding and monitoring such trends facilitates early recognition of new infectious agents in a population. A summary of the common viruses and bacteria causing respiratory tract infections and their clinical relevance is given in Tables 41–1 and 41–2, respectively.
KeywordsRespiratory Syncytial Virus Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Respiratory Pathogen Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Bordetella Pertussis
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