Viral upper respiratory infection is the most common reason for seeking medical care for children. Recurrent viral respiratory infections and subsequent complications (e.g. acute otitis media (AOM)) are a burden for children, their families and society. Over the past decade, our knowledge on the significance of respiratory viruses has broadened remarkably. Viruses cause large variety of respiratory diseases and cause alone diseases, which previously have been assumed to be bacterial only (e.g. AOM and pneumonia). Methods for detection analysis of respiratory viruses are developing making both the diagnosis and epidemiological investigations of respiratory infections easier. Accurate diagnosis of respiratory infections and awareness of possible viral etiology could reduce the use of antibiotics. Etiologic studies of viral infections are becoming increasingly important, with the emergence of new antiviral drugs and vaccines.