Revista de Saúde Pública
Print version ISSN 0034-8910
FACANHA, Mônica Cardoso and PINHEIRO, Alicemaria Ciarlini. Distribution of acute respiratory diseases in Brazil from 1996 to 2001, Brazil. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2004, vol.38, n.3, pp. 346-350. ISSN 0034-8910. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102004000300002.
OBJECTIVE: Acute respiratory diseases - ARD, mainly pneumonias, are the most important cause of death among children under five years of age and are responsible for severe diseases among people over sixty years of age. This study aims to describe the main epidemiological characteristics of ARD cases notified by healthcare centers. METHODS: ARD patients' records from medical consultations at 100 public health care centers and hospitals were reviewed every week in the period from 1996 to 2001 and data was filled out on a specific form. Data was classified as pneumonia and not pneumonia according to age groups. RESULTS: During this period, 2,050,845 ARD cases were informed. May and June were the months with the largest number of cases. ARDs were more frequent among children aged one to four years old. The latter concentrated about twice the number of cases of other age groups. Pneumonias represented approximately 7.7% of the ARD cases. CONCLUSIONS: The magnitude of ARD numbers may be observed and it should stimulate appropriate diagnosis, early treatment, and prevention, both in regard to the event itself and complications ensuing from it.
Keywords : Respiratory tract infections [epidemiology]; Pneumonia [epidemiology]; Common cold; Epidemiologic surveillance.