Atypical pneumonia was found in 20 military trainees with types 1A, 1B, 2, 29, and 30 rhinovirus infections who were hospitalized at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., from 1962 to 1966. Diagnosis was based on recovery of viruses and neutralizing antibody responses during the course of the illness. Infection by other known agents was not present as determined by a variety of isolation and serologic procedures.
Clinical features were similar to those observed in other atypical pneumonias in military personnel. Cough, fever, and substernal chest pain were common presenting complaints, and upper respiratory symptoms were often present. White blood cell counts ranged from 6,500 to 18,300/mm3. The X-ray appearance was that of a localized bronchopneumonia, usually involving one or more segments of a lower lobe; infiltrates sometimes shifted from one area to another during the period of observation. Duration of illness was approximately 1 week and was not influenced by treatment with antibiotics. These findings indicate that rhinoviruses should be included among the causes of atypical pneumonia in adults.