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Human coronaviruses and other respiratory infections in young adults on a university campus: Prevalence, symptoms, and shedding
  • Published Date:
    Apr 16 2018
  • Source:
    Influenza Other Respir Viruses. 12(5):582-590.
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-573.50 KB]

  • Alternative Title:
    Influenza Other Respir Viruses
  • Description:

    The prevalence, symptom course, and shedding in persons infected with the 4 most common human coronaviruses (HCoV)‐229E, HKU1, NL63, and OC43 are poorly described.


    We estimate their prevalence and associated symptoms among college students identified via a social network study design.


    We collected 1‐3 samples (n = 250 specimens) from 176 participants between October 2012 and January 17, 2013: participants with acute respiratory infection (ARI; cough and body aches or chills or fever/feverishness) and their social contacts. Virus was detected using RT‐PCR.


    30.4% (76/250) of specimens tested positive for any virus tested, and 4.8% (12/250) were positive for 2 or more viruses. Human coronaviruses (HCoVs [22.0%; 55/250]), rhinovirus (7.6%; 19/250), and influenza A (6.4%; 16/250) were most prevalent. Symptoms changed significantly over time among ARI participants with HCoV: the prevalence of cough and chills decreased over 6 days (P = .04, and P = .01, respectively), while runny nose increased over the same period (P = .02). HCoV‐NL63 was the most frequent virus detected 6 days following symptom onset (8.9%), followed by rhinovirus (6.7%).


    During a 3‐month period covering a single season, HCoVs were common, even among social contacts without respiratory symptoms; specific symptoms may change over the course of HCoV‐associated illness and were similar to symptoms from influenza and rhinovirus.

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