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SCIENCE FILE | SCIENCE IN BRIEF

Day Care Linked to Increase in Number of Hospitalizations for Respiratory Infection

October 21, 1999

Hospitalizations for the most common cause of respiratory infection among children under 5 have been climbing for two decades, and researchers say one reason may be the rise of day care. The total number of children admitted to the hospital each year--as high as 144,000--is also much larger than previously thought, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Assn.

Respiratory syncytial virus causes as much as three-quarters of cases of bronchiolitis--an ailment that produces wheezing, coughing and difficulty breathing--and nearly half of pneumonia cases in young children, especially infants.

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Compiled by Times medical writer Thomas H. Maugh II

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