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J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc. 2016 Mar;5(1):29-38. doi: 10.1093/jpids/piu099. Epub 2014 Oct 19.

Rhinovirus Disease in Children Seeking Care in a Tertiary Pediatric Emergency Department.

Author information

Department of Medicine, University of Washington.
Center for Clinical and Translational Research.
Department of Microbiology, Seattle Children's Hospital, Washington.
Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of Washington.



Rhinovirus is the most common cause of viral respiratory tract infections in children. Virologic predictors of lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI), such as viral load and the presence of another respiratory virus (coinfection), are not well characterized in pediatric outpatients.


Mid-nasal turbinate samples were collected from children presenting for care to the Seattle Children's Hospital emergency department (ED) or urgent care with a symptomatic respiratory infection between December 2011 and May 2013. A subset of samples was tested for rhinovirus viral load by real-time polymerase chain reaction. Clinical data were collected by chart reviews. Multivariate logistic regression was used to evaluate the relationship between viral load and coinfection and the risk for LRTI.


Rhinovirus was the most frequent respiratory virus detected in children younger than 3 years. Of 445 patients with rhinovirus infection, 262 (58.9%) had LRTIs, 231 (51.9%) required hospital admission and 52 (22.5%) were hospitalized for 3 days or longer. Children with no comorbidities accounted for 142 (54%) of 262 rhinovirus LRTIs. Higher viral load was significantly associated with LRTI among illness episodes with rhinovirus alone (OR, 2.11; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.24-3.58). Coinfection increased the risk of LRTI (OR, 1.83; 95% CI, 1.01-3.32).


Rhinovirus was the most common pathogen detected among symptomatic young children in a pediatric ED who had respiratory viral testing performed, with the majority requiring hospitalization. Higher rhinovirus viral load and coinfection increased disease severity. Virologic data may assist clinical decision making for children with rhinovirus infections in the pediatric ED.


coinfection; disease severity; emergency department; rhinovirus; viral load

[Available on 2017-03-01]
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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