This second edition of Professor Stuart-Harris' short monograph on viral respiratory infections will be useful to those who seek a brief survey of this important, fascinating, complex, and rapidly expanding field, but most of its information is covered well in other recent texts and reviews.
Approximately one half of the book is devoted to influenza, its diagnosis, epidemiology, pathology, clinical aspects, and prevention. Clinicians reading these sections are likely to come away with the impression that we haven't learned much about this disease in the past ten years; this is probably not fair to many investigators, including the author of this monograph.
The remainder of the volume is devoted to the picornaviruses, adenoviruses, para-influenza, respiratory syncytial viruses, and the agents of primary atypical pneumonia. Confusion in this area is the rule because clinical syndromes overlap, partly because they are strikingly modified by age and prior immunity. Agents causing severe lower-respiratory-tract