Infections of the respiratory tract constitute a very large proportion of acute conditions for which people seek medical care. Therefore, it follows that a monograph dealing with viral and mycoplasmal infections of the respiratory tract should receive special notice by physicians involved in primary care and by medical students and house officers who are training to take such roles. The volume entitled Viral and Mycoplasmal Infections of the Respiratory Tract, edited by Vernon Knight, is an important reference for all clinical teaching centers. Millions of dollars are spent each year for antibiotics prescribed unnecessarily for acute viral infections. In view of the fact that there is no evidence that prophylactic antibiotics will prevent bacterial complications and that there are finite risks in prescribing these same antibiotics, it is essential that practicing physicians have a better understanding of cause, epidemiology, and clinical manifestations of acute respiratory infections.
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