Upper Respiratory Infection (URI) in general is defined as an infection in the upper respiratory tract. Common cold is one of the most common Upper Respiratory Infections.
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Today let us in detail discuss about Acute Upper Respiratory Infection, its causes and symptoms.
About Acute Upper Respiratory Infection
Our respiratory tract is broadly classified into two categories namely the upper respiratory tract and the lower respiratory tract. Where the upper respiratory tract includes mouth, nose, sinus, throat, larynx and trachea and the lower respiratory tract consists of bronchial tubes and the lungs. Acute Upper Respiratory Infection is a contagious infection in the upper respiratory tract which interferes with normal breathing. In addition to cold, few other types of Acute upper respiratory infections include Sinusitis, Epiglottitis, Laryngitis and Bronchitis.
Though these Upper Respiratory Infections can affect people of all age groups, but is more common in children and older adults this is mainly because of their weak immune system. People suffering from chronic disorders like heart diseases, lung problems and so on are more prone to developing Acute Upper Respiratory tract infections.
Causes of Acute Upper Respiratory Infection
An Acute Upper Respiratory Infection can be caused due to both viruses and bacteria.
Viruses that cause Acute Upper Respiratory Infections include
- Parainfluenza virus
- Respiratory syncytial virus
- Human metapneumovirus
Bacteria that causes Acute Upper Respiratory Infections include
Risk factors of Acute Upper Respiratory Infections
As we all know, Acute Upper Respiratory Infections are highly contagious and spread easily through hand to hand contact, droplets and so on. Few risk factors of Acute Upper Respiratory Infections include
- Weak immune system
- Not maintaining proper hygiene
- Coming in contact with a person suffering from URI
Symptoms of Acute Upper Respiratory Infection
People suffering from Acute Upper Respiratory Infection experience symptoms like
- Congestion (in the nasal area or the lungs)
- Persistent cough
- Pain and difficulty while swallowing
- Sore or scratchy throat
- Body aches
- Difficulty in breathing
- Foul breath
- Hyposmia (reduced ability to smell)
Complications of Acute Upper Respiratory Infection
In severe cases, Acute Upper Respiratory Infection can lead to complications like respiratory failure, respiratory arrest and congestive heart failure.