A total of 131 infants were monitored from birth through the first year of life for respiratory viral infection and illness and evaluated for the relationship that these had to certain social and familial factors. The results showed no general patterns of association between viral infection and the study factors, but there were several significant individual associations. Excess influenza virus infection was found for black infants, infants with at least one sibling, and especially those with school age siblings. Rhinovirus infection rates were highest among girls attending daycare. In addition, significantly higher rates of lower respiratory disease (LRD) were seen in daycare infants and low socioeconomic infants and a definite trend to increasing amounts of LRD was seen with increasing family size. Protection from LRD seen in girls was apparently lost in daycare. No convincing differences for viral infection or respiratory illness were seen with parental smoking as an isolated factor.
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