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.

Quick GuideAsthma Symptoms, Causes, and Medications

Asthma Symptoms, Causes, and Medications

Can an upper respiratory infection be prevented?

There are several measures that can reduce the risk of infections in general. Smoking cessation, reducing stress, adequate and balanced diet, and regular exercise are all measures that can improve the immune system and reduce the overall risk of infections. Breastfeeding also helps strengthen the immune system of infants by transferring the protective antibodies from the mother's milk to the baby.

Other preventive measures to diminish the risk of spread of upper respiratory infections are:

  • hand washing is especially encouraged during the cold seasons (fall and winter) or handling others with the infection;
  • reducing contact with people who may have the infection (people may carry and spread the virus a few days before they have symptoms and a few days after their symptoms have resolved);
  • proper cleaning of common objects that are touched by individuals who may be infectious such as, telephones, refrigerator door, computers, stair railings, door handles, etc.;
  • covering mouth and noise when coughing or sneezing; and
  • vaccination with flu vaccine as recommended for certain people (elderly, people with chronic medical conditions, health care workers, etc.).
Reviewed on 7/17/2015
References
REFERENCE: Meneghetti, A. et al. "Upper Respiratory Tract Infection." Medscape. Apr 07, 2014

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