Double Infection May Cause Lung Disease

MARCH 01, 2005

Infants with both respiratory syncytial virus and metapneumovirus are more apt to develop bronchiolitis?severe inflammation of the small airways of the lung. The study involved children under 2 years of age who were hospitalized during the winter of 2001-2002. The researchers based their findings on a comparison of the rates of dual infection with both viruses among children who were moderately ill and were admitted to general pediatric wards, versus those with severe disease who required a respirator in the intensive care unit. Dual infection, the researchers discovered, produced a 10-fold higher risk of needing intensive care unit mechanical ventilation.