FIGURE 1 Etiology of deaths due to acute respiratory infection (ARI). According to the World Health Organization, there were 3.63 million deaths due to ARI in 1994. NOTE: The leading pathogen in the “Other” group is respiratory syncytial virus. SOURCE: Adapted from CDC, 1994.

The incidence of ARI is consistent across the continuum of developing and developed countries. However, in terms of disease severity and mortality, those in the developing world fare far worse than their developed-world counterparts. Among the variety of epidemiologic risk factors for ARI, three stand out as especially important: being very young, being malnourished, and living in poverty. These and other risk factors are described in a recent series of studies overseen by the National Research Council’s Board on Science and Technology for International Development.2


Reviews of Infectious Diseases, Vol. 12, Suppl. 8, November–December 1990, pp. S861–S1083.

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