In 2012, IHCM initiated a new research area focusing on viral respiratory disease. The research targets children under 5 years old that have been admitted to the intensive care unit with severe lower respiratory disease. Samples are recruited from three major public hospitals located Kuching, Sibu and Miri respectively.

The goals of this project is to determine what are the major viruses involved in severe respiratory disease in young children in Sarawak and if there is a seasonality pattern associated with these viruses. This information would eventually be used to develop a “clinical diagnostic key” that would hopefully be able to associate observed clinical symptoms with virus type. Such a tool would be useful to clinicians to aide in diagnosis.