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The Role of Allergy in Viral Respiratory Tract Infections

Am J Dis Child. 1962;104(4):330-334. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1962.02080030332002.
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Introduction  The exact interrelation of respiratory infections and allergy has been in dispute for years.1-5 Whether such illnesses as colds, bronchitis, and pneumonia are "trigger" mechanisms6 to the asthmatic attack or act by aggravating allergic reactions already in progress,7 or whether infectious agents "sensitize" the bronchial mucosa remains unsettled.1 The variety of terms that combine allergic and infectious connotations that are used to describe respiratory infections in the allergic individual—"intrinsic asthma," "asthmatic bronchitis," "infectious asthma," "asthmatoid bronchitis"—reveals the debatable status of this problem.6 Clarification of this question is made difficult by the lack of viral diagnostic studies in such cases and is further complicated by the uncertainty in distinguishing clinically between respiratory tract infection and allergic coryza.2,6This study attempted to determine whether the wheezing which occurred in children with viral respiratory tract illness was associated with an allergic diathesis in these children. The


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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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