Upper respiratory tract problems are common throughout childhood; indeed, this is by far the most frequent site of infection at all ages, most children suffering several upper respiratory tract infections annually. Much of this illness is trivial but it may occasionally be life-threatening. The pattern of disease is, as usual in paediatrics, largely determined by the age of the child. For example, infants are less susceptible to group A beta-haemolytic streptococci than are their older siblings, but are much more likely to develop serious illness with the respiratory syncytial virus or the para-influenza virus. Some of the factors which determine the pattern of disease are apparent, such as changing anatomical relationships and the stage of development of the lymphoid system, but most remain as obscure as the complex interaction of genetic, environmental and immune mechanisms which determine individual susceptibility to infection.
KeywordsInfluenza Penicillin Meningitis Perforation Paracetamol
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