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Viral respiratory tract infections are the most common infections of childhood. They result in clinical syndromes ranging from mild upper respiratory tract infection to severe lower respiratory tract disease requiring intensive care. Respiratory viruses are most commonly identified from a respiratory swab or nasopharyngeal aspirate by real-time PCR, which has a very high sensitivity and specificity. In this article, we review when and how children should be tested for viral respiratory tract infections and how to interpret the result in context of the clinical picture.

Original publication




Journal article


Arch Dis Child Educ Pract Ed

Publication Date





274 - 278


infectious diseases, respiratory, virology, Child, Humans, Patient Selection, Respiratory Tract Infections, Symptom Assessment, Virus Diseases