Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Upper Respiratory Infections Overview

What are upper respiratory infections?
A person with an upper respiratory infection has inflammation of the nose, sinuses, ears, or throat, caused by a viral infection. The most common name for an upper respiratory infection is a cold. Adults average 3 upper respiratory infections per year, while children average 6 upper respiratory infections per year.

What are the symptoms of upper respiratory infections?
Symptoms of upper respiratory infections include a runny nose, nasal congestion, sore throat, ear pain, coughing, fever, headache, fatigue, and body aches. The throat may become red.

How does the doctor treat upper respiratory infections?
Treatment for upper respiratory infections may include rest, acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for fever, and nonprescription medications for a cough, sore throat, or nasal congestion.

Continue to Upper Respiratory Infections Incidence

Last Updated: Jan 6, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Upper Respiratory Infections References
  1. Bachert C, Chuchalin AG, Eisebitt R, Netayzhenko VZ, Voelker M. Aspirin compared with acetaminophen in the treatment of fever and other symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection in adults: a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, single-dose, 6-hour dose-ranging study. Clin Ther. 2005 Jul;27(7):993-1003. [16154478]
  2. Fahey T, Stocks N, Thomas T. Systematic review of the treatment of upper respiratory tract infection. Arch Dis Child. 1998 Sep;79(3):225-30. [9875017]
  3. Islam J, Carter R. Use of Echinacea in upper respiratory tract infection. South Med J. 2005 Mar;98(3):311-8. [15813158]
  4. Lam TP, Lam KF. Why do family doctors prescribe antibiotics for upper respiratory tract infection? Int J Clin Pract. 2003 Apr;57(3):167-9. [12723716]
  5. Ray DA, Rohren CH. Characteristics of patients with upper respiratory tract infection presenting to a walk-in clinic. Mayo Clin Proc. 2001 Feb;76(2):169-73. [11213305]
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