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Respiratory Virus Surveillance -- United States, January 1985

Reports of noninfluenza respiratory viruses received at CDC through January 18, 1985, indicate parainfluenza virus type 3 and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are the most common noninfluenza respiratory viruses isolated so far this respiratory virus season. Parainfluenza type 3 isolates have been reported from all nine regions and in largest numbers from the New England (NE), Mid-Atlantic (MA), East North Central (ENC), West South Central (WSC), and Mountain (MTN) regions from September through November 1984. RSV began to be isolated in increasing numbers in the MTN, NE, MA, and South Atlantic regions in December (Table 2). Parainfluenza types 1 and 2 have been reported from only three and two regions, respectively. In 1983, these two types had occurred in all nine regions by November 30. Reported by LL Minnich, MS, CG Ray, MD, Arizona Health Science Center, Tucson; DT Imagawa, PhD, MA Keller, MD, Harbor Medical Center-University of the City of Los Angeles, California; B Lauer, MD, M Levin, MD, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver; HW Kim, MD, C Brandt, PhD, Children's Hospital National Medical Center, District of Columbia; L Pierik, K McIntosh, MD, The Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts; T O'Leary, TC Shope, MD, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor; HH Balfour, MD, University of Minnesota Hospitals, Minneapolis; C Reed, GA Storch, MD, St. Louis Children's Hospital, Missouri; ME Kumar, MD, Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital, Ohio; P Swenson, PhD, North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset, SM Lipson, PhD, K Szabo, MD, Nassau County Medical Center, East Meadow, CB Hall, MD, University of Rochester Medical Center, New York; H Friedman, MD, S Plotkin, MD, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; M Kervina, MS, E Sannella, MS, PF Wright, MD, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee; L Corey, MD, Children's Orthopedic Hospital, Seattle, Washington; EL Anderson, MD, RB Belshe, MD, Marshall Univesity School of Medicine, Huntington, West Virginia; Respective State Virus Laboratory Directors; Div of Viral Diseases, Center for Infectious Diseases, CDC.

Editorial Note

Editorial Note: Reports of noninfluenza respiratory virus isolations are received from selected university and state virology laboratories in the United States. Reports will focus on RSV and parainfluenza virus types 1, 2, and 3. Parainfluenza virus type 3 is often isolated year-round, with peaks occasionally occurring in the late winter or spring (1,2). Outbreaks of RSV occur each year with peak isolations occurring sometime between December and March (3). RSV and parainfluenza type 3 are the most common causes of lower respiratory tract illness among infants and young children. Parainfluenza types 1 and 2 often cause outbreaks of croup in children in the fall of alternating years (2).


  1. Glezen WP, Frank AL, Taber LH, Kasel JA. Parainfluenza virus type 3: seasonality and risk of infection and reinfection in young children. J Infect Dis 1984; 150:851-7.

  2. Glezen WP, Loda FA, Denny FW. Parainfluenza viruses. In: Evans AS, ed. Viral infections of humans; epidemiology and control. New York: Plenum, 1982:441-53.

  3. Chanock RM, Kim HW, Brandt CD, Parrott RH. Respiratory syncytial virus. In: Evans AS, ed. Viral infections of humans; epidemiology and control. New York: Plenum, 1982:471-89.

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