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April 15, 1974

Weekend Activities and Respiratory Illness

JAMA. 1974;228(3):290. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230280018021

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To the Editor.—  The Tecumseh Study of acute respiratory illness in an American community, by Monto and Ulman (227:164, 1974), showed that on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, the frequency of illness onsets increased, reaching a peak on Mondays, mainly in 5- to 19-year-olds. This proves an observation I and probably many other physicians have made through the years in private practice in a larger city. I cannot share, though, the authors' conclusions about the main factors that might be responsible.It was always my impression that the main contributing factor was physical exhaustion brought on by unaccustomed activities in which this age group indulged on weekends: late hours due to the endless viewing of TV, social activities extending into the night, physical exhaustion caused by participating in strenuous exercises leading to overexertion, irregularly served less-balanced meals, and possibly overindulgence in eating and drinking of unaccustomed items.Whenever I observed the prevalence