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Clin Geriatr Med. 2007 Aug;23(3):535-52, vi.

Community-acquired viral pneumonia.

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  • 1Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine at Rochester General Hospital, 1425 Portland Avenue, Rochester, NY 14621, USA.


Advanced age often is associated with functional and immunologic decline and chronic cardiopulmonary diseases that predispose to pneumonia when viral infection occurs. Influenza virus remains the primary viral pathogen in the elderly, although the impact of the other respiratory viruses remains to be defined. The clinical syndromes associated with respiratory viruses frequently are indistinguishable from one another or bacterial pathogens; often, viral illness in older adults exacerbates underlying conditions, complicating diagnosis. Antiviral therapy is available for influenza A and B; specific viral diagnosis, particularly with the use of rapid antigen detection, may be useful for clinical management. Treatment for other viruses primarily is supportive.

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