Viral infections in the elderly
Viral infections impair functional ability, threaten independence, lower quality of life and reduce survival in the elderly. The most common viruses to afflict the elderly include varicella-zoster virus, respiratory viruses and gastrointestinal viruses. This chapter focuses on the epidemiology, clinical features, diagnosis and treatment of herpes tester and influenza in the elderly and provides key information for respiratory syncytial virus and human immunodeficiency virus in the elderly. Recent molecular, clinical and epidemiological studies have enhanced our ability to detect and diagnose these infections in the elderly. Furthermore, significant advances in antiviral therapy and vaccination will improve the outcomes of these viral infections in the elderly and are discussed in the chapter.
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