Upper respiratory infection is an infectious inflammatory disease of the upper respiratory tract, such as the nose, pharynx, larynx, and trachea, which includes acute rhinitis and sinusitis, acute pharyngitis, acute otitis media, and acute bronchitis. It is often called a cold.
Viruses are usually the cause of upper respiratory infections. Very few cases are caused by bacterial infection, less than about 5-10%. Colds are common in childhood, and peak around 4-7 years of age. People who live mainly in groups tend to spread easily to infected patients. It is also helpful for children to wash their hands and keep their bodies clean after returning home from kindergarten.
When a runny nose or nasal congestion continues, the person breathes through the mouth, causing thirst and swelling. Inflammation may occur on the tonsil side, and when tonsillitis occurs, symptoms such as high fever, dysphagia, and dyspnea may appear. In cases where tonsillitis recurrence is frequent, tonsillectomy may be done. Since it is performed according to indications, it is recommended to decide after consulting with a specialist when considering surgery.
For simple upper respiratory infections, clinical diagnosis and treatment with symptomatic therapy are usually appropriate. However, additional tests, such as blood tests and pharyngeal cultures, may be helpful, especially in high-risk patients.
Treatment of upper respiratory tract infections is usually symptomatic symptomatic therapy. In principle, antibiotics should be used only when there are secondary bacterial infections such as sinusitis, otitis media, bronchitis, and pneumonia after a sore throat or viral infection caused by some bacteria. Antibiotics are not required for the treatment of all cold patients, but they can help if the patient suspects some bacterial infection or complications.
Infants and toddlers are more likely to develop from otitis media to pneumonia, starting with a cold. If you have otitis media, you may have fever and earache over 38 degrees Celsius (3.33 degrees Fahrenheit). Children often cry and refuse to eat because of a sore throat caused by tonsillitis. If the patient’s fever persists and there is a change in respiratory sound, it is possible that pneumonia is accompanied. In this case, it is recommended to visit the hospital and receive medical treatment.
The pathogens that cause colds are spread by physical contact, so it is best for everyone to wash their hands frequently, do not rub their noses, and avoid contact with cold patients. Sufficient fluid intake and maintaining the proper temperature and humidity are also helpful for quick healing.