What You Need to Know About Upper Respiratory Infection

What You Need to Know About Upper Respiratory Infection

Jun 01, 2022

Upper respiratory infection, also called an upper respiratory tract infection (URTI), is a collective group of infections that primarily affect the nose and throat (respiratory tract). Many different viruses can cause URTIs. Symptoms typically include sneezing, coughing, sore throat, and a runny or blocked nose. Most URTIs are mild and last a few days, but some can be more serious, requiring you to visit the nearest ER.

What is URI?

Upper Respiratory Infection is a medical condition characterized by inflammation of the lining of the nose, throat, and lungs, caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi. The most common symptoms of URI are fever, cough, and nasal congestion. URI is a type of respiratory infection that affects the upper respiratory tract. The most common cause of URI is a viral infection, such as the common cold.

Causes of Upper Respiratory Infection

A virus known as human rhinovirus, more commonly called the common cold virus, is spread through sneezing and coughing causing URI. Infected people usually present several symptoms:

  • Coughing and sneezing
  • Discomfort in the nasal cavity
  • Nasal congestion
  • Excessive mucus
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Mild chills and fever – these are often common among children
  • Headaches and body aches

These symptoms clear with time, but if they are accompanied by a fever of 102 for more than two days, visit a Freestanding ER for assistance.

While some people are likely to have URI symptoms, others may not have any symptoms. Some people are completely asymptomatic and spread the infection unknowingly to others.

How Is It Diagnosed?

The diagnosis of URI is easy. You can find out if you have URI by following the symptoms. You will generally be able to tell if you have URI if you are experiencing symptoms like coughing, runny nose, or sneezing.

Keep in mind that URI symptoms may mimic COVID-19 infection, and it is important to visit a 24-hour emergency room for proper diagnosis.

What Are the Risk Factors?

It is possible to develop URI like cold and influenza with or without the risk factors. These risk factors include smoking, poor hygiene, crowded populations, preexisting medical conditions, age, stress, and other mental conditions.

How Long Do Upper Respiratory Infections Last?

The majority of URIs last between 1 and 3 days. However, some can last up to a week or longer. You need to take care of the infection as soon as diagnosed. Get to an ER near you if the symptoms worsen and persist for more than ten days.

What is the URI Treatment?

The treatment of URI depends on your health condition. There are two kinds of treatment for mild URIs, medication and natural home remedies. You can go to the Houston emergency room for severe URIs for antibiotic treatment.

  • Medication

Medications are usually used as a temporary measure. They are to be taken when you are experiencing symptoms of a URI. Medications are effective if you take them on time and for the recommended duration. These medications are also to be taken only if the symptoms are severe. They are also not meant to be taken for a long duration.

You can also use decongestants to clear the nasal, and it is used for five days.

  • Rest

Resting helps the body to heal itself by increasing your immunity. Studies report that sleep rev up your immune cells, which will help you fight off the infection. Also, most URI medications make you tired, and it is recommended to rest.

  • Vaccines

Vaccines are a way of protecting you from getting sick. They are usually recommended for people exposed to certain strains of viruses. Some of these strains are very common as influenza. You should get a flu shot every year.

When to See a Healthcare Provider?

Visit the Houston emergency room if you have URI accompanied by symptoms such as fever, chills, body aches, headache, and fatigue.

Take Action

Visit Ascent Emergency Room for assistance if the URI symptoms persist for more than three days and have high fevers.

Are you looking for an emergency room in Houston, TX? At Ascent Emergency Room, we care about your health and their emergency needs. We are located just a little away from you and provide exceptional and comprehensive emergency care appointments for the surrounding Houston area:

  • (Southampton) University Place
  • Rice Village
  • Bellaire
  • Old Braeswood
  • Gridiron
  • Brookhaven
  • Southside
  • Riverside Terrace
  • Greater Third Ward
  • Greater Eastwood
  • East Downtown
  • Midtown
  • Montrose
  • Westmoreland Houston
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