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Anatomy of the Respiratory System

Signs of Respiratory Distress

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Acute Respiratory Disorders

Chronic Respiratory Disorders


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Respiratory illnesses can include a variety of problems, including colds, flu, runny noses, coughs, and sore throats. Some children may also have chronic illnesses that affect the breathing system, including asthma and cystic fibrosis (CF).

Picture of a young girl, in a hospital bed, with her mother

Nearly 30,000 people in the US are currently affected by CF, and about 2,500 babies are born with the disease each year.

About 20 million people in the US have been diagnosed with asthma, with at least five million of them children under the age of 18.

Most children will develop at least six to eight colds, or other respiratory illness a year. This number may even be higher in children who attend daycare.

Adolescents get colds, on average, two to four times a year. Ten percent to 15 percent of children with a respiratory infection may have pneumonia.

Eighty percent of bronchiolitis, a wheezing, asthma-like viral respiratory infection, occurs in the first year of life.

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