latent or dormant state in the nasopharynx and can become reactivated when the host's
body resistance, to it, is low. This would account for the development of the familiar
cold symptoms that accompany or follow fatigue, chilling, or emotional stress.
b. Signs/Symptoms. The common cold is a mild disease. The usual
complaints are running nose and eyes, sore throat, and malaise lasting from 2 to 7
days. Fever is uncommon.
c. Importance of the Disease. The disease is important both for causing lost
time and for predisposing the patient to more serious infections.
d. Immunity. While limited, temporary immunity probably exists against the
specific virus that caused a particular case. Temporary immunity does not prevent
prompt development of a second case.
e. Treatment. Treatment includes bed rest and aspirin as needed for
Antibiotics should not be used, but should be reserved for treatment of
The patient should practice self-isolation, personal hygiene, and sickroom
sanitation to break the chain of infection.
3-7. COMMON RESPIRATORY DISEASES: PRIMARY ATYPICAL PNEUMONIA
Primary atypical pneumonia is a term adopted during World War II to describe those
cases of `nonbacterial" pneumonia for which no etiology could be found.
a. Classical Case. World War II nonbacterial pneumonia was:
Unresponsive to sulfa and penicillin therapy
Appeared as a patchy, ill defined, mottled infiltrate in one or both lower
lobes of the lungs
Associated with fever, cough, and malaise
b. In Military Personnel. This type of pneumonia accounts for at least 80
percent of pneumonia in military personnel.
Studies in military recruits have shown that about 10 percent of these
cases are because of adenoviruses, 50 percent to Mycoplasma pneumoniae (Eaton
agent), and 40 percent to unknown agents.