Table of Contents
Journal of Respiratory Medicine
Volume 2014, Article ID 469393, 8 pages
Research Article

The Epidemiology of Upper Respiratory Infections at a Tertiary Care Center: Prevalence, Seasonality, and Clinical Symptoms

Department of Pathology, Medical College of Georgia, Georgia Regents University, 1120 15th Street, Augusta, GA 30912, USA

Received 16 April 2014; Accepted 30 May 2014; Published 19 June 2014

Academic Editor: Umesh Yadav

Copyright © 2014 Christy S. Stover and Christine M. Litwin. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Improved multiplex PCR detection methods are facilitating the correlation of the etiology of respiratory tract infections with specific symptoms or clinical manifestations. We conducted a retrospective analysis of the incidence of respiratory pathogens and initial symptoms in 1,286 patients at a tertiary care center tested by multiplex respiratory pathogen PCR from July 1, 2012, to June 30, 2013. Rhinovirus/enterovirus (Rhino/Entero) infections were the most prevalent (25.4%) followed by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) (13.6%) and influenza A (6.2%). Eleven percent of patients were positive for multiple analytes with Rhino/Entero and RSV being the most common combination. Asthma or asthma exacerbation was the most common presenting symptom in patients positive for Rhino/Entero (38.4%) or positive for Rhino/Entero along with RSV or hMPV (34.8%). Of the patients positive for Rhino/Entero and presenting with asthma, 97% were ≤17 years of age. RSV positive patients most commonly presented with respiratory distress (40.3%) followed by asthma (18%) or pneumonia (18%). The most prevalent initial clinical manifestation for influenza was fever (27.4%) followed by respiratory distress (13%) or pneumonia (11.9%). The significant percentage of patients positive for Rhino/Entero virus presenting with asthma supports the role of rhinovirus as an important trigger for asthma exacerbation.