Acute Respiratory Disease and Its Etiology


In this the bacterial age, many diseases have been described and methods for their successful treatment initiated. However, respiratory disorders continue to be a problem, evidenced by the fact that they are the chief cause of man-hour time loss constituting eighty per cent of the average person's annual illness. Foremost among these is acute respiratory disease (ARD), commonly called grippe or the "flu." Clinically, it is a mild disease which lasts one to two weeks and which exhibits fever of twoto three-day duration, anorexia, cough, and, in some cases, conjunctivitis. The earliest productive studies were begun in 1942 and showed that ARD in Army camps was epidemic during the winter months affecting one-third of the men but producing immunity once they had been exposed. The latter fact and the fact that it had a fiveto six-day incubation period differentiated acute respiratory disease from the common cold and atypi'cal pneumonia. This was the situation until 1953 when Hubner, Hillman, and Werner isolated viruses causing a rise in the titer of neutralizing antibodies to ARD. They were called the adenoidal-pharyngeal-conjunctival (APC) group. Bergey and Jawetz have confirmed this and, to date, seven distinct viruses have been isolated, more lately being called the adenoviruses. Types 3, 4, and 7 were found to be common in Army recruits and prophylactic inoculation with Type 3 gave a range of sixty to ninety per cent effectiveness in different tests performed. The difficulty arises when civilian populations are studied. "Only four per cent of civilian cases are of demonstrable etiology." Hence, use of the vaccine is not indicated here. Many related illnesses and viruses have been demonstrated. More must be found and correlated effectively with specific reference to civilian populations. JAMES A. O'NEILL

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Neill2008AcuteRD, title={Acute Respiratory Disease and Its Etiology}, author={James Neill}, year={2008} }