Recent years have witnessed a dramatic surge in understanding of viral upper and lower respiratory tract disease in children (Table 1). The epidemiology of established viral pathogens (eg, respiratory syncytial virus [RSV] and parainfluenza viruses [PIVs]) continues to be clarified, and new pathogens have been identified (eg, human metapneumoviruses and the coronavirus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome [SARS]). Although the relentless emergence of antigenic variation among influenza viruses continues, progress is being made to prevent or control disease in children caused by this virus through active immunoprophylaxis (trivalent inactivated vaccine, live attenuated vaccine) and new antiviral agents (neuraminidase inhibitors). Development of any new viral vaccine, antibody for immunoprophylaxis, or antiviral drug is a tedious and expensive proposition. To identify which interventions will have the greatest societal benefit and utilize interventions in the most cost-effective fashion, reliable estimates of rates of disease must be known. A report in this...

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