Pectoriloquy |

Breathtaking Virus FREE TO VIEW

David Fountain
Author and Funding Information

Editor’s Note:The author writes, “An influenza episode (despite immunisation for predicted circulating strains) last winter provoked the poem. A retired Associate Professor of Plant Biology, I worked and published in the area of pollen allergens and their relationship to inhalant allergy and asthma. I live in New Zealand notable for a high asthma prevalence unexplained to date.”

Palmerston North, New Zealand

Copyright 2016, American College of Chest Physicians. All Rights Reserved.

Chest. 2016;150(2):464. doi:10.1016/j.chest.2016.02.679
Text Size: A A A
Published online

    I'm resident and active; billion-copied, systemic,
    So myriad now I'm potentially epidemic
    She's infectious, her symptoms unveiled
    painful expansion, with volume inhaled

    Each inhalation, takes her breath away
    with difficulty her thoughts cast the day
    sense the ballooning within, intercostals complaining
    then exhalation and relief from constraining

    Mucosa inflamed now in throat and nose
    I move rapidly to claim more beyond those
    my infection races on soundless
    my infectivity seems boundless

    In her upper airway I begin to be heard
    now increasingly sore with a tickle
    then full-throated cough, air jetting in
    it's unpredictable and fickle

    I'll stay for the duration, as long as I can – her immune response is my foe
    It will get me in time for she's fit, she's healthy, strong from top to toe
    my kin engulfed, my virulence diminished
    She'll recover, more immunity acquired; re-infection effectively finished

    I'll overcome the resistance of the young, the old,
    and multiply with persistence 'til they fold
    With their cough, their fever I'll inflame their contagion
    And open the floodgates for pneumococcal invasion

    And so I will spread, sparing few their infection
    my ancient properties so refined by selection
    Neither race nor religion a barrier will be
    I'm a breathtaking virus for sure -that's me!




Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

  • CHEST Journal
    Print ISSN: 0012-3692
    Online ISSN: 1931-3543