Upper Respiratory Tract Infection (URI)

Chest | Pulmonology | Upper Respiratory Tract Infection (URI) (Disease)


URIs are infections of the upper airway that usually lasts 2-4 days. Patients experience low grade fevers, fatigue, nasal congestion or runny nose and a dry cough.

Causes and Risk factors

Almost always caused by a virus. There are many viruses that cause this infection and they are contagious.

The common cold is the most common cause of URIs. They spread from one person to another through aerosol droplets and direct hand-to-hand contact.

Other risk factors include: when someone sick sneezes or coughs without covering his nose and mouth; droplets containing the viruses are sprayed into the air; when people are in a closed-in area or crowded conditions; people who are in hospitals, institutions, schools, and daycare centers have increased risk because of close contact; touching your nose or eyes. Infection occurs when the infected secretions come in contact with your nose or eyes; during the fall and winter (September to March), when people are more likely to be inside; when humidity is low. Indoor heating favors survival of many viruses that cause URIs; a weakened immune system.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Different tests are performed by the medical professional. Antibiotics are usually of no use. Treatment includes: acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications/NSAIDs, cough medicine, decongestants. ...