a1 Polio Research Fund Fellow, Department of Pathology, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge
a2 General practitioners, Cambridge
The aetiology of acute respiratory infections between September 1962 and August 1963 was studied in two general practices in Cambridge. These practices were reasonably representative of the permanent community of Cambridge.
There were 592 spells of acute respiratory infection in the combined practices, representing an incidence of 11·4 spells per 100 persons. Children aged 0–4 had the highest rates (51·6 spells per 100 persons).
It was possible to establish a diagnosis in 62·5% of cases investigated. Influenza and parainfluenza infections featured prominently, being responsible between them for 46·6% of all respiratory infections investigated. From September 1962 to January 1963, parainfluenza viruses were prevalent, causing acute laryngo-tracheo-bronchitis in children (croup), and an influenza-like illness in adults. From February to April 1963, influenza A (Asian) was epidemic, a clinical diagnosis of influenza being frequently confirmed by laboratory studies at this time. There were nine cases of Eaton agent infection, seven of which had PAP, the other two being family contacts who later developed influenza-like illnesses.
Adenovirus (four cases), and RS virus (three cases) were not prevalent to any large extent in Cambridge during the survey.
(Received August 06 1964)
p1 Present address: Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale School of Medicine New Haven 11, Connecticut, U.S.A.
† The meterial in this paper formed part of a thesis for the degree of Doctor of Medcine in the University of Cambridge.