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Wheezing in early childhood is common, occurring in approximately 50% of children before the age of 6 years.1 Understanding the role of respiratory viruses in triggering acute wheezing in children has been compromised by the lack of comparison groups in previous studies.2
The objective of this study was to investigate the association (using a control group) of two common viruses—influenza virus and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)—with acute wheezing among children, aged 1–7 years, with a past history of wheezing.
Children, aged 1–7 years, with two or more previous wheezing episodes, were enrolled from a paediatric community practice and an emergency department during two consecutive winters (1997/1998, 1998/1999) into this concurrent case–control study.
Cases had previous wheezing and current symptoms of an upper respiratory infection and acute wheezing (clinical score of at least 1). Controls had previous wheezing and current symptoms of an upper respiratory tract infection, without acute wheezing (clinical score of 0) at the time of enrolment or within the week following enrolment. Children were excluded if they had received immunisation for influenza in the year of enrolment. The study was …
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