GenMark is committed to expanding its menu of multiplex molecular panels to address a wide variety of clinical needs in the area of respiratory tract infections. The following information is provided as an educational resource only.
WHAT ARE UPPER RESPIRATORY TRACT INFECTIONS?
Upper respiratory tract infections include any infection of the sinuses, nasal passages, pharynx, and larynx. Upper respiratory tract infections are usually caused by viruses, but they can also be caused by bacteria. Most people experience an average of 2 respiratory infections each year; these infections can lead to severe disease in high risk populations, which include young children, the elderly, and anyone with weakened or compromised immune systems.1
HOW PREVALENT ARE RESPIRATORY TRACT INFECTIONS?
Respiratory infections cause more doctor visits and absences from school and work than any other illness.2 It is estimated that 5 – 20% of people in the United States and 10% of Europeans are infected with influenza each year during flu season; globally resulting in about 3-5 million severe cases and 250,000-500,000 deaths every year.3-5 However, it is not just influenza that can cause respiratory infections; in addition to the flu, there are approximately 500 million non–influenza respiratory infections occurring annually.6
1. American College of Physicians: A Guide to Managing Respiratory Infections. Breathe Easy. 2008
2. Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Library. http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/pediatrics/upper_respiratory_infection_uri_or_common_cold_90,P02966 (accessed February 2016)
4. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Seasonal Influenza. http://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/healthtopics/seasonal_influenza/Pages/index.aspx (accessed February 2016)
5. World Health Organization. (2014). Seasonal Influenza Fact Sheet 211. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs211/en/
6. Fendrick A, et al. (2003) The Economic Burden of Non-Influenza-Related Viral Respiratory Tract Infection in the United States. Arch Intern Med 163(4):487-94.