• Upper Respiratory Tract Infections

    by  • 11/06/2013 • Respiratory

    Upper respiratory tract infections


    Infections in the nose, sinuses, pharynx or larynx (above level of vocal cords)

    Presenting complaint

    1. rhinitis
    2. pharyngitis/tonsillitis
    3. laryngitis often referred to as a common cold, and their complications: sinusitis, ear infection and sometimes bronchitis.
    4. Symptoms of URI’s commonly include cough, sore throat, runny nose, nasal congestion, headache, low grade fever, facial pressure and sneezing.
    5. Onset of the symptoms usually begins 1-3 days after the exposure to a microbial pathogen. The illness usually lasts 7-10 days



    1. Group A beta hemolytic streptococcal pharyngitis/tonsillitis(strep throat):p/c: sudden onset of sore throat, pain with swallowing and fever.
    2. Otitis media: pain and pressure in middle ear.
    3. Viral



    1. Over 200 different viruses have been isolated in patients with URIs. The most common virus is called the rhinovirus.
    2. Other viruses include the coronavirus, parainfluenza virus, adenovirus, enterovirus, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
    3. Influenza is a more severe systemic illness which typically involves the upper respiratory tract



    Infection in URT activates the hosts immune response

    How does it spread?

    1. Respiratory droplets or by virus-contaminated hands.
    2. Upper respiratory tract (nose, throat, sinuses) mucosa inflammation causes increased secretions, rhinorrhea and results in sneezing, and coughing facilitating the spread.


    Treatment and management (conservative/medical/surgical)

    1. Analgesia: paracetamol and ibuprofen
    2. Vitamin C??? – to shorten length of onfection by ~1d 
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