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Chapter: Medical Microbiology: An Introduction to Infectious Diseases: Influenza, Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Adenovirus, and Other Respiratory Viruses

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Parainfluenza Disease

The parainfluenza viruses are important because of the serious diseases they can cause in infants and young children.

PARAINFLUENZA DISEASE

The parainfluenza viruses are important because of the serious diseases they can cause in infants and young children. Parainfluenza 1 and 3 are particularly common in this regard. Overall, the group is thought to be responsible for 15 to 20% of all nonbacterial respira- tory diseases requiring hospitalization in infancy and childhood. Immunity to reinfection is transient; although repeated infections can occur in older children and adults, they are usually milder than the illnesses of infancy and early childhood.


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