Facts About Upper Respiratory Tract Infections (URTI)

What You Must Know About Upper Respiratory Tract Infections (URTI)

Here are some facts about URTI.

What is an upper respiratory tract infection?

A URTI is an infection of your upper respiratory tract. This includes your throat, nose, pharynx, larynx, sinuses, and trachea (windpipe). This upper portion of your airway is susceptible to many bacterial and viral infections that can cause a range of symptoms, with varying degrees of severity. Infections and airborne illnesses are easily spread by contact with other people and are often transferred by sneezing or coughing.

The common cold

The common cold is an infection that affects your entire upper respiratory system. A virus attaches to the lining of your nose or throat and triggers an immune response. This immune response results in congestion in the local area and leaves your body feeling generally run down as you try to fight it. Most colds are caused by the rhinovirus, but other culprits include influenza, parainfluenza, and coronavirus.

Symptoms of the common cold

  1. Blocked nose
  2. Sneezing
  3. Sore throat
  4. Dripping mucus from your nose
  5. Stuffy feeling
  6. Fatigue

Treatment options

  1. Lots of rest
  2. Extra fluids
  3. Decongestants or nasal sprays (medications to relieve symptoms)
  4. Healthy diet
  5. Hot soups or drinks

Many colds can last as long as 7 – 10 days. However, if your cold is severe or lasts a long time, you should see your doctor. If you also have a fever or difficulty breathing, it may be something more serious like influenza and will require medical attention. Be sure to visit Exceptional ER so we can treat your illness and get you feeling better today.

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COVID-19 TESTING UPDATE:

The Exceptional Emergency Room staff and physicians care about you and your loved ones. We are here 24/7 for all your emergency care needs.

  1. If you are experiencing fever, shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, weakness, numbness, sensory loss, or any other emergent medical problems, please call 911 or seek medical care immediately at your nearest Emergency Room.
  2. To provide the highest quality emergency medical care to our communities, we are directing all routine COVID testing to outpatient community resources.
  3. Testing through local resources, including your primary care doctor, urgent care, walk-in clinic, or local health department, is appropriate under the following circumstances:
    1. If you have been exposed to a person known to have COVID, and you do not have symptoms, we recommend that you self-quarantine at home and seek testing 4-5 days after exposure. It often takes this long for the infection to be detected by routine lab testing.
    2. If you have no symptoms or very mild symptoms, outpatient testing is also typically appropriate.
    3. Please follow this link for local COVID testing resources.
  4. If you have tested negative, you should still self-quarantine for 14 days from the day of suspected exposure as it can take anywhere from 2-14 days to come down with symptoms of this infection.
  5. Please kindly limit your phone time with our Emergency Rooms as the phone lines are needed to communicate with other health care entities and to provide patients their test results. Thank you for your understanding during this trying time.