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A review of routine tests for respiratory viruses in hospital inpatients.
  1. N C Oswald,
  2. M C Jones,
  3. S J Yealland


    During the period June 1967 to May 1972, viral tests were performed upon 1195 inpatients aged 12 and over in the Brompton Hospital. The overall diagnostic rate was 21-5%, comparing 9-3% by isolation and 14-9% by complement fixation (6-5% by four-fold rises in titre in paired sera, 8-4% by titres larger than or equal to 160 in single sera). Only 42% of all patients had an acute respiratory illness within one week prior to admission, which seriously curtailed the chances of isolating viruses and of obtaining early serological specimens. The value of complement fixation tests on single specimens in the clinical management of patients is discussed. The profound effect of infections by influenza A on respiratory morbidity and hospital admission is stressed.

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