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Long Is An Upper Respiratory Infection Contagious

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Last Updated: 02 July 2021

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General | Latest Info

Both colds and flu are contagious and are caused by viruses. However, viruses that cause colds are not the same as those that cause flu. Although the typical incubation period for Influenza is about one to four days, some adults can be contagious from about one day before onset of symptoms for up to two weeks. Other people who develop complications, such as pneumonia, may extend contagious period for week or two. For colds, most individuals become contagious about day before cold symptoms develop and remain contagious for about five to seven days. Some children may pass flu viruses for longer than seven days. Colds are considered upper respiratory infections. Flu may also cause lower respiratory infections. For both cold and flu, early symptoms may be similar. Symptoms and signs include cough, runny nose, and feeling tire. If you know you have had contact with someone with a cold or flu in the past few days, you should suspect you may have become infected. However, flu symptoms are generally more intense than cold symptoms. People with flu can develop fever, body aches, chills, and headaches, and some develop nausea and vomiting. Cold symptoms are much milder and usually do not require medical care. However, if you suspect you have the flu, you should seek medical care. Flu is often diagnosed with rapid tests available to most physicians. Common colds and flu are easily spread from person to person, Flu is most often by droplets produced by coughing and sneezing. Cold viruses in droplets are spread mainly hand to hand. These droplets contain infectious viruses. Occasionally, these droplets land on various surfaces and, depending on the survivability of virus type, can be transferred when an uninfected individual touches contaminated surface and subsequently touches his / her mouth or nose. In most instances, individuals with a cold will resolve their symptoms without medical intervention in about one week, although sometimes cough may last longer. However, at this point in time, cough is not spreading contagious virus. When cold symptoms and signs resolve, person is cure of cold. Flu is similar except that symptoms are more severe and, in some individuals, medical intervention may be require. However, depending upon influenza strain and severity of infection, some individuals may require hospitalization. A cure for these individuals occurs when symptoms resolve and the patient is discharged from hospital. Stomach flu is not caused by cold or by flu viruses. The term stomach flu is a nonspecific term that describes symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Although these symptoms may occur with the flu, flu is a respiratory infection. In most individuals with only stomach flu, causes are usually non - flu type viruses. Similarly, cold sores are not actually caused by cold viruses but by herpesviruses.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Common Medical Abbreviations List

Doctors, pharmacists, and other health - care professionals use abbreviations, acronyms, and other terminology for instructions and information in regard to patient's health condition, prescription drugs they are to take, or medical procedures that have been order. There is no approved list of common medical abbreviations, acronyms, and terminology used by doctors and other health - care professionals. You can use this list of medical abbreviations and acronyms written by our doctors next time you can't understand what is on your prescription package, blood test results, or medical procedure orders. Examples include: ANED: Alive no evidence of disease. Patient arrives in ER alive with no evidence of disease. Arf: Acute renal failure cap: Capsule. Cpap: Continuous positive airway pressure. Treatment for sleep apnea. Djd: Degenerative Joint disease. Another term for osteoarthritis. Dm: Diabetes mellitus. Type 1 and type 2 Diabetes HA: Headache IBD: Inflammatory bowel disease. Name for two disorders of gastrointestinal tract, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis JT: Joint N / V: Nausea or vomiting. Po: by mouth. From Latin terminology per os. Qid: Four times daily. As in taking medicine four times daily. Ra: Rheumatoid arthritis SOB: Shortness of breath. T: Temperature. Temperature is recorded as part of physical examination. It is one of the vital signs.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Preventing spread

A sore throat and runny nose are usually the first signs of a cold, followed by coughing and sneezing. Most people recover in about 7 - 10 days. You can help reduce your risk of getting a cold: wash your hands often, avoid close contact with sick people, and dont touch your face with unwashed hands. Common colds are the main reason that children miss school and adults miss work. Each year in the United States, there are millions of cases of the common cold. Adults have an average of 2 - 3 colds per year, and children have even more. Most people get colds in winter and spring, but it is possible to get colds any time of year. Symptoms usually include: sore throat, runny nose, coughing, sneezing headaches, body ache Most people recover within about 7 - 10 days. However, people with weakened immune systems, asthma, or respiratory conditions may develop serious illness, such as bronchitis or pneumonia.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Treating cold and flu

Flu, which is caused by influenza viruses, also spreads and causes illness around the same time as common cold. Because these two illnesses have similar symptoms, it can be difficult to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. In general, flu symptoms are worse than common colds and can include fever or feeling feverish / chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue. Flu can also have very serious complications. Cdc recommends yearly flu vaccination as the first and best way to prevent flu. If you get the flu, antiviral drugs may be a treatment option.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

History and physical examination

Etiology: Most upper respiratory infections are of Viral etiology. Epiglottitis and laryngotracheitis are exceptions, with severe cases likely caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b. Bacterial pharyngitis is often caused by Streptococcus pyogenes Table 93 - 1 pathogenesis: Organisms gain entry to the respiratory tract by inhalation of droplets and invading mucosa. Epithelial destruction may ensue, along with redness, edema, hemorrhage and sometimes exudate. Clinical Manifestations: Initial Symptoms of a cold are runny, stuffy nose and sneezing, usually without fever. Other upper respiratory infections may have fever. Children with epiglottitis may have difficulty breathing, muffled speech, drooling and stridor. Children with serious laryngotracheitis may also have tachypnea, stridor and cyanosis. Microbiologic Diagnosis: Common colds can usually be recognized clinically. Bacterial and Viral cultures of throat swab specimens are used for pharyngitis, epiglottitis and laryngotracheitis. Blood cultures are also obtained in cases of epiglottitis. Prevention and Treatment: Viral infections are treated symptomatically. Streptococcal pharyngitis and epiglottitis caused by H influenzae are treated with antibacterials. The Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine is commercially available and is now a basic component of the childhood immunization program.S Etiology: Causative agents for lower respiratory infections are viral or bacterial. Viruses cause most cases of bronchitis and bronchiolitis. In community - acquired pneumonias, most common bacterial agent is Streptococcus pneumoniae. Atypical pneumonias are caused by such agents as Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlamydia spp, Legionella, Coxiella burnetti and viruses. Nosocomial pneumonias and pneumonias in immunosuppressed patients have protean etiology with gram - negative organisms and staphylococci as predominant organisms. Pathogenesis: Organisms enter distal airway by inhalation, aspiration or by hematogenous seeding. Pathogen multiplies in or on epithelium, causing inflammation, increasing mucus secretion, and impairing mucociliary function; other lung functions may also be affect. In severe bronchiolitis, inflammation and necrosis of epithelium may block small airways leading to airway obstruction. Clinical Manifestations: Symptoms include cough, fever, chest pain, tachypnea and Sputum production. Patients with pneumonia may also exhibit non - respiratory symptoms such as confusion, headache, myalgia, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Microbiologic Diagnosis: Sputum specimens are cultured for bacteria, fungi and viruses. The culture of nasal washings is usually sufficient in infants with bronchiolitis. Fluorescent staining technics can be used for legionellosis. Blood cultures and / or serologic methods are used for viruses, rickettsiae, fungi and many bacteria. Enzyme - link immunoassay methods can be used for detection of microbial antigens as well as antibodies. Detection of nucleotide fragments specific to microbial antigen in question by DNA probe or polymerase chain reaction can offer rapid diagnosis. Prevention and Treatment: Symptomatic Treatment is used for most viral infections. Bacterial pneumonias are treated with antibacterials. The Polysaccharide vaccine against 23 serotypes of Streptococcus pneumoniae is recommended for individuals at high risk.


Otitis

Acute otitis media occurs most commonly in young children. The initial complaint is usually persistent severe earache accompanied by fever, and, and vomiting. Otologic examination reveals bulging, erythematous tympanic membrane with loss of light reflex and landmarks. If perforation of tympanic membrane occurs, serosanguinous or purulent discharge may be present. In the event of obstruction of the eustachian tube, accumulation of usually sterile effusion in the middle ear results in serous otitis media. Chronic otitis media frequently presents permanent perforation of tympanic membrane. Central perforation of pars tensa is more benign. On the other hand, attic perforation of pars placcida and marginal perforation of pars tensa are more dangerous and are often associated with cholesteatoma. Amoxicillin is an effective and preferred antibiotic for treatment of acute otitis media. Since beta - lactamase producing H influenzae and M catarrhalis can be a problem in some communities, amoxicillin - clavulanate is used by many physicians. Oral preparations of trimethoprim / sulfamethoxazole, second and third generation cephalosporins, tetracyclines and macrolides can also be used. When there is large effusion, tympanocentesis may hasten the resolution process by decreasing sterile effusion. Patients with chronic otitis media and frequent recurrences of middle ear infections may be benefited by chemoprophylaxis with once daily oral amoxicillin or trimethoprim / sulfamethoxazole during winter and spring months. In those patients with persistent effusion of middle ear, surgical interventions with myringotomy, adenoidectomy and placement of tympanotomy tubes have been helpful. Use of polyvalent pneumococcal vaccines has been evaluated for prevention of otitis media in children. However, children under two years of age do not respond satisfactorily to polysaccharide antigens; further, no significant reduction in the number of middle ear infections was demonstrable. Newer vaccines composed of pneumococcal capsular polysaccharides conjugated to proteins may increase immunogenicity and are currently under clinical investigation for efficacy and safety.


Pharyngitis

This may be difficult to distinguish from viral pharyngitis. Assessment for group streptococcal infection warrants special attention. Following physical findings suggest high risk for group streptococcal disease: less common findings in streptococcal pharyngitis are petechiae of palate and scarlatiniform rash. These are not uniquely specific to this disorder. Exudate manifest as white or yellow patches. Whitish coating may appear on the tongue, causing normal bumps to appear more prominent. Yellow or green coloration do not differentiate bacterial pharyngitis from viral disease, because thick, yellow secretions may be seen with uncomplicated viral nasopharyngitis. Foul breath may be note because resident flora processes products of inflammatory process. Whitish adherent membrane forming on the nasal septum, along with mucopurulent blood - ting discharge, should prompt consideration of diphtheria. Pharyngeal and tonsillar diphtheria may manifest as adherent blue - white or gray - green membrane over tonsils or soft palate; if bleeding has occur, membrane may appear blackish. Peritonsillar abscess may manifest as unilateral palatal and tonsillar pillar swelling, with downward and medial tonsil displacement; uvula may tilt to opposite side. Bulging of the posterior pharyngeal wall may signal retropharyngeal abscess. Tender anterior cervical adenopathy may be part of presentation in patients with streptococcal or viral infections. In people with diphtheria, submandibular and anterior cervical edema may be present along with adenopathy. Fever is more likely to occur in group streptococcal infections than in other URIs, although it may be absent. Temperatures around 38. 3c may occur in group streptococcal infection. Rash may be seen with group streptococcal infections, particularly in patients younger than 18 years. Scarlet fever rash appears as tiny papules over the chest and abdomen, creating roughness similar to sandpaper and producing a sunburned appearance. Rash spreads, causing erythema in the groin and armpits. The face may be flush, with pallor around lips. Approximately 2 - 5 days later, rash begins to resolve. Peeling is often done on the tips of toes and fingers. Cutaneous diphtheria may appear as scaling rash or as well - demarcate ulcers with membranes. Neisseria gonorrhoeae infection may also cause rash. In the setting of acute pharyngitis, presence or absence of preexisting cardiac murmurs should be documented for comparative purposes in case rheumatic fever later develop.


Epiglottitis and Laryngotracheitis

Direct visualization is the best way to confirm the diagnosis of epiglottitis. However, such an examination may compromise airway. Therefore, in suspected epiglottitis, limit examination to observation and assessment of vital signs. Oropharyngeal examination performed by using tongue depressor or speculum can provoke laryngospasm. Direct visualization of the upper airway should be performed only when emergency endotracheal intubation or cricothyroidotomy can be safely performed if necessary. Respiratory distress in patients with epiglottitis may manifest as tachypnea, tachycardia, and use of accessory muscles of respiration. Observe patient for rib retractions, use of strap muscles, and perioral cyanosis. In response to respiratory distress, patients with epiglottitis may assume the classic tripod position: sitting upright, supported by hands, with tongue out and head forward.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Home remedies and OTC medication

Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration, and also to moisten your nose and sinus membranes. Air humidifier to keep air moist will assist in keeping the nose and sinus membranes moist. However, use caution to avoid scalding burns due to hot water in humidifying air. Cool mist humidifiers may be a better option. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen may be used to relieve minor fevers or facial soreness. Aspirin should not be used in children or teenagers because of the risk of Reye's syndrome. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, over - counter cold medications should not be used in infants and children because of their lack of effectiveness in controlling symptoms and the potential for significant side effects. For infants with stuffy noses, saline nose drops used with bulb syringe may be helpful in clearing nasal passages. Over - counter cold medications should be used with caution is adults as well. These preparations may contain multiple active ingredients that can increase blood pressure, cause heart palpitations, and promote sleepiness. Alcohol is one of the active ingredients in many OTC cold medications. Read labels before taking any medications and discuss any questions or concerns with pharmacist or health care practitioner with regard to potential side effects. Alternative treatments such as vitamin C, echinacea, and zinc have been used by some individuals; however, their benefits have not been scientifically proven.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Introduction

Upper respiratory tract infections are commonly treated in family physicians ' practices. Uncomplicated URIs account for 25 million visits to Family Physicians and about 20 to 22 million days of absence from work or school each year in the United States. 1 Despite the majority of these infections being viral, high percentage are treated with antibiotics 2. A study from a large, outpatient ambulatory network of more than 52 000 cases of URI shows that antibiotics were prescribed in 65 percent of patients. 19 Overuse of antibiotics may lead to resistance, increased cost, and increased incidence of adverse effects, including anaphylaxis. 20 note: Patients with a score of 1 or less do not require further testing or treatment, although contact with person who has documented streptococcal infection should be considered in patients with a score of 1, and testing should be performed. In these cases; those with a score of 2 or 3 should have rapid antigen detection testing and, if results are positive, should receive antibiotics; and those with a score of 4 or 5 should receive antibiotics. Note: Patients with a score of 1 or less do not require further testing or treatment, Although contact with person who has documented streptococcal infection should be considered in patients with a score of 1, and testing should be performed in these cases; those with a score of 2 or 3 should have rapid antigen detection testing and, if results are positive, should receive antibiotics; and those with score of 4 or 5 should receive antibiotics.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Epidemiology

Across the country, URIs are one of top three diagnoses in outpatient setting. Estimate annual costs for viral URI, not related to Influenza, exceed 22 billion. Upper Respiratory tract infections account for an estimated 10 million outpatient appointments a year. Relief of symptoms is the main reason for outpatient visits amongst adults during the initial couple weeks of sickness, and the majority of these appointments result in physicians needless writing of antibiotic prescriptions. Adults obtain common cold around two to three times yearly whereas pediatrics can have up to eight cases yearly., Fall months see a peak in incidence of common cold caused by rhinovirus. Upper Respiratory tract infections are accountable for greater than 20 million missed days of school and greater than 20 million days of work lose, thus generating a large economic burden.


Otitis

Furuncles of external ear, similar to those in skin infection, can cause severe pain and a sense of fullness in the ear canal. When furuncle drain, purulent otorrhea may be present. In generalized otitis externa, itching, pain and tenderness of ear lobe on traction are present. Loss of hearing may be due to obstruction of ear canal by swelling and the presence of purulent debris. Malignant otitis externa tends to occur in elderly diabetic patients. It is characterized by severe persistent earache, foul smelling purulent discharge and presence of granulation tissue in the auditory canal. Infection may spread and lead to osteomyelitis of temporal bone or externally to involve pinna with osteochondritis. Topical therapy is usually sufficient and systemic antimicrobials are seldom needed unless there are signs of spreading cellulitis and the patient appears toxic. A combination of topical antibiotics such as neomycin sulfate, polymyxin B sulfate and corticosteroids used as eardrops, is preferred therapy. In some cases, acidification of ear canal by applying 2% solution of acetic acid topically may also be effective. If furuncle is present in external canal, physician should allow it to drain spontaneously.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Pathophysiology

Common colds are the most prevalent entity of all respiratory infections and are the leading cause of patient visits to physician, as well as work and school absenteeism. Most colds are caused by viruses. Rhinoviruses with more than 100 serotypes are the most common pathogens, causing at least 25% of colds in adults. Coronaviruses may be responsible for more than 10% of cases. Parainfluenza viruses, respiratory syncytial virus, adenoviruses and influenza viruses have all been linked to common cold syndrome. All of these organisms show seasonal variations in incidence. The cause of 30% to 40% of cold syndromes has not been determine. Viruses appear to act through direct invasion of epithelial cells of respiratory mucosa, but whether there is actual destruction and sloughing of these cells or loss of ciliary activity depends on the specific organism involve. There is an increase in both leukocyte infiltration and nasal secretions, including large amounts of protein and immunoglobulin, suggesting that cytokines and immune mechanisms may be responsible for some of the manifestations of common cold.


Otitis

Diagnosis of both otitis externa and otitis media can be made from history, clinical symptomatology and physical examinations. Inspection of tympanic membrane is an indispensable skill for physicians and health care workers. All discharge, ear wax and debris must be removed and to perform adequate otoscopy. In the majority of patients, routine cultures are not necessary, as a number of good bacteriologic studies have shown consistently same microbial pathogens mentioned in the section of etiology. If a patient is immunocompromised or is toxic and not responding to initial antimicrobial therapy, tympanocentesis to obtain middle ear effusion for microbiologic culture is indicate.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Sources

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

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