Epidemiology and etiology

Rhinosinusitis is one of the most common medical conditions in the United States, affecting about 1 billion people annually.1 It is caused mainly by respiratory viruses but also can be caused by allergies or environmental irritants. Viral rhinosinusitis is complicated by secondary bacterial infection in 0.5% to 2% of adults and 5% to 13% of children.23, 4 Upper respiratory infections of less than 7 days' duration are usually viral, whereas more prolonged disease or severe symptoms are often caused by bacteria. Risk factors for ABRS include prior viral respiratory infection, allergic rhinitis, anatomic defects, and certain medical conditions23, 5 (Table 72-3).

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