Upper Respiratory Tract Infection

  • Medical Author:
    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.

  • Medical Author: Siamak N. Nabili, MD, MPH
    Siamak N. Nabili, MD, MPH

    Dr. Nabili received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), majoring in chemistry and biochemistry. He then completed his graduate degree at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). His graduate training included a specialized fellowship in public health where his research focused on environmental health and health-care delivery and management.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Upper respiratory infections such as a sore throat or strep throat can be diagnosed easily with a rapid strep test.

Upper Respiratory Tract Infection

The Common Cold

The common cold refers to a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. Characteristic symptoms of the common cold include

  • cough,
  • stuffy or
  • runny nose,
  • scratchy or
  • sore throat,
  • sneezing.

Quick GuideAsthma Pictures Slideshow: An Inflammatory Disorder of the Airways

Asthma Pictures Slideshow: An Inflammatory Disorder of the Airways

Upper respiratory infection facts

  • Upper respiratory infections are one of the most common reasons for doctor visits.
  • Upper respiratory infections are the most common illness resulting in missed work or school.
  • Upper respiratory infections can happen at any time, but are most common in the fall and winter.
  • The vast majority of upper respiratory infections are caused by viruses and are self-limited.
  • Symptoms of upper respiratory infection include
  • Antibiotics are rarely needed to treat upper respiratory infections and generally should be avoided, unless the doctor suspects a bacterial infection.
  • Simple techniques, such as, proper hand washing and covering face while coughing or sneezing, may reduce the spread of upper respiratory infections.
  • General outlook for upper respiratory infections is favorable, although, sometimes complication can occur. Continue Reading
Reviewed on 7/17/2015
References
REFERENCE: Meneghetti, A. et al. "Upper Respiratory Tract Infection." Medscape. Apr 07, 2014

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