Upper respiratory tract infection

From Academic Kids

Upper respiratory tract infection, also popularly known as either the acronym URTI or URI, is the disease characterised by an acute infection which involves the upper respiratory tract: nose, sinuses, pharynx, or larynx.

Contents

Signs & symptoms

Symptoms of URTIs include cough, rhinorrhea (running nose), sore throat, fever, pain and myalgia.

Infective agents for URTIs include respiratory viruses, bacteria and fungi. The most common form of URTI by far is a viral infection, otherwise known as the common cold.

Common diagnoses include the common cold, rhinitis, sinusitis, pharyngitis, Strep throat, tonsillitis, and laryngitis.

Otitis media is an infection of the ear (which is part of the auditory system) often associated with upper respiratory infections.

Influenza is a more systemic illness which can also involve the upper respiratory tract and should be recognized as distinct from other causes of URI.

Treatment

Although viruses are the most likely etiology of URIs and are not amenable to antibiotic treatment, antibiotics continue to be widely prescribed for this illness. Unnecessary adverse effects of antibiotics and development of antimicrobial resistance can be reduced by judicious use of these drugs. In patients with URTIs, antimicrobial therapy generally has been shown to result in symptom resolution 1 to 2 days sooner than when symptomatic measures alone are used.

Some high risk patients with underlying pulmonary disease, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), are more likely to benefit from antibiotics when they develop symptoms consistent with a URTI.

Health care providers generally try to educate their patients about the self-limited nature of most URIs and the hazards of inappropriate use of antibiotics for the individual patient and the community.

Reference

  • Lecture on Upper respiratory tract infection (http://www.kcom.edu/faculty/chamberlain/Website/lectures/lecture/introurt.htm) from Infectious Diseases, Medical Microbiology, by Neal Chamberlain, PhD., Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, Missouri, USA

External link

Template:Med-stubzh:上呼吸道感染

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