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© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2018. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ. Viral respiratory tract infections are the most common infections of childhood. They result in clinical syndromes ranging from mild upper respiratory tract infection to severe lower respiratory tract disease requiring intensive care. Respiratory viruses are most commonly identified from a respiratory swab or nasopharyngeal aspirate by real-time PCR, which has a very high sensitivity and specificity. In this article, we review when and how children should be tested for viral respiratory tract infections and how to interpret the result in context of the clinical picture.

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Archives of Disease in Childhood: Education and Practice Edition

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