Key Points

  • About one-quarter of primary care consultations among children relate to respiratory complaints.
  • There is no effective vaccination programme for respiratory syncytial virus, the most common cause of bronchiolitis and lower respiratory tract infections in the first year of life.
  • Community-acquired pneumonia is not a serious threat to most children in western Europe but mortality rates are more than 10 times higher in some eastern European countries.
  • There are clear differences in infant and childhood mortality from respiratory disease between western, central and eastern Europe.
  • Vaccination has markedly decreased the rate of respiratory infections such as pertussis, measles, Haemophilus influenzae, and pneumococcus in all European countries.

See the entire Paediatric respiratory diseases Chapter