fbpx
Connect with us

Community

Upper Respiratory Infections during COVID-19 Pandemic

If you’ve ever suffered from a cold, you are probably familiar with upper respiratory tract infections (URIs). It is a contagious infection that affects your upper respiratory tract – which includes your throat, nose, larynx, and bronchi. For an upper respiratory tract infection to develop, your body is exposed to a causative agent. Both viruses and bacteria can cause upper respiratory infections. However, the vast majority of the cases are caused by viruses and are self-limited. URIs are the most common illness that missed work or school. Though it can happen at any time, the fall and winter see the most frequent incidents of URIs. The common cold is among the most prevalent and well-known.

Types of Upper Respiratory Infections

1. SINUSITIS
Sinusitis is a condition characterized by inflammation or swelling of the sinuses. The healthy sinuses are filled with air. These air spaces are present near your nose or underneath your forehead. When a sinus gets blocked and filled with fluid, it’s more likely to get infected.

2. EPIGLOTTITIS
Epiglottis is the upper part of your respiratory tract – trachea. Its inflammation is referred to as epiglottitis. The epiglottis primary role is to prevent the entry of foreign particles into the lungs through your airways. An inflamed epiglottis can very dangerous as it can block the airflow into the tracheal tubes.

3. LARYNGITIS
The larynx is also known as the voice box. It is involved in breathing, sound production, and protection of the tracheal tube against food aspiration. Inflammation or swelling of your larynx is called laryngitis.

4. BRONCHITIS
Bronchitis is the inflammation of the bronchial tubes. Your right and left bronchial tubes arise from the main tracheal tube and conduct air to and from the respective lungs.

5. PERTUSSIS (WHOOPING COUGH)
Whooping cough is a violent and uncontrollable cough caused by the Bordetella pertussis bacterium. This bacterial lung infection makes the process of breathing very difficult. Anyone can get pertussis, but young children and infants are at an increased risk due to a weaker immune system.

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

The signs and symptoms observed due to upper respiratory infection can widely vary and depend on numerous factors such as causative agent, the integrity of your immune system, overall health, and others.

However, the most common symptoms of upper respiratory infection are as follows:

  • runny nose
  • nasal congestion
  • sneezing
  • coughing
  • excess mucus production
  • headache
  • fever
  • fatigue
  • wheezing
  • pain during swallowing

VIRAL AND BACTERIAL CAUSES

Viruses mostly cause upper respiratory infections. However, various bacterial strains can also result in upper respiratory infection. The disease can have different signs and symptoms, depending on whether it is viral or bacterial. The most common viral URIs can be identified by a runny nose, sore throat, cough, and difficulty sleeping. The use of antibiotics or antivirals can’t speed up the recovery process. Influenza is a viral infection that is frequently accompanied by a high fever and intense body aches. On the other hand, bacterial infections are the result of “secondary infection” – the illness was initiated by a virus, but a bacterial specie followed it. Unlike a viral infection, a bacterial URI manifests symptoms that last longer than the typical 10-14 days’ time span. Moreover, a high-grade fever develops that might be higher than a standard viral infection. In a bacterial URI, the fever gets worse after a few days instead of improving like in viral infections. Pneumonia, sinusitis, and ear infections are examples of secondary bacterial infections. The bacterial infection is considered more severe as there is a constant risk of sepsis (bacteria in the blood) or even meningitis (bacteria in the lining of the spinal cord and brain).

DIAGNOSIS

Respiratory infections have a very similar clinical presentation. Many people are aware of their condition. They may visit a healthcare professional for relief from the symptoms. The patient’s medical history and physical examination are of high diagnostic significance.

Moreover, the following tests might be used to confirm the diagnosis of URIs:

• Chest X-ray: Your physician may order a chest X-ray if pneumonia is suspected.

• Throat swab: This test detects antigen and can be used to diagnose beta-hemolytic streptococcal infection. This is also a very common test currently for the screening of Covid-19.

• CT scans: This test can be used to confirm the diagnosis of sinusitis

• Neck X-ray (lateral): If you are having difficulty in breathing, this test can be used to rule out epiglottitis.

TREATMENT

The treatment for upper respiratory infection usually relies on limiting the discomfort from associating symptoms. The use of cough suppressants, zinc, and vitamin C supplements is widespread among people suffering from URIs. Some other treatment options include:

• Analgesics: NSAIDs and acetaminophen can reduce fever, pain, and body aches.

• Nasal decongestants: It can enhance breathing when used for a shorter period. Some of the common drugs include oxymetazoline (Afrin) and phenylephrine (Sudafed PE). If this treatment is prolonged, it can result in rebound nasal congestion.

• Steam inhalation: Hot steam and gargling with salty and lukewarm water can provide relief from respiratory infection symptoms. It is one of the safest methods among all available options.

COVID 19 PANDEMIC

The novel coronavirus is wreaking havoc on humanity from the start of the year 2020. The Covid-19 starts as an upper respiratory infection and then develops into a more serious lower respiratory infection. Currently, there is no vaccine for this viral infection. Exercising social distancing and adopting cautious routine are the best options right now.

PREVENTION

The URIs are highly contagious and can spread very quickly among the population. There is no particular method to avoid getting a URI. However, the following preventative practices can significantly reduce your risk of contracting the upper respiratory infection:

  • avoid crowded area
  • stop smoking cigarettes
  • disinfect frequently touched surfaces
  • avoid contact with an infected person
  • cover up your mouth and nose while sneezing or coughing
  • frequently wash your hands – exercise regularly
  • eat a healthy diet

CONCLUSION

The upper respiratory infection was previously taken as lightly. It was thought to clear up on its own without any treatment. Some minor treatments were used to get relief from the discomfort caused by associating symptoms of URIs. However, with the recent advent of the novel coronavirus, things have not been the same. You need to be on your toes at all times. Even a slightest of the symptom needs to be taken seriously. Get screened for the coronavirus if the infection is suspected. Practice social distancing and strictly follow protocols advised by healthcare professionals.

https://text2md.com/

Advertisement

Join Disrupt Magazine

Become A Disrupt Contributor
Become A Disrupt Contributor

Most Disruptive

Entrepreneurship3 weeks ago

5 Disruptive Leaders Paving the Way in 2021

Where there is uncertainty, lies a whirlwind of opportunity. 2020 was the year that had entrepreneurs learn a great deal...

Politics7 months ago

Brock Pierce Wants To Disrupt The Two Party System And Be Your Next President

We don’t usually cover politics much here at Disrupt, but when Crypto billionaire and friend of the show, Brock Pierce...

Business9 months ago

John Mcafee – Predictions For The Future

John McAfee is a world-famous tech CEO, computer scientist, civil disobedience activist, privacy advocate, and pioneer of the commercial anti-virus...

Finance10 months ago

Gaby Wall Street – Teaching Latinas to Thrive During The Crisis

It’s no secret we are facing one of the most challenging financial times of the last few decades as we...

Entrepreneurship10 months ago

Tony Delgado – The #1 Entrepreneurship Movement In Puerto Rico

Puerto Rican online market is in constant progress. With many entrepreneurs who are coming here to start a business, it...

Entrepreneurship1 year ago

Elena Cardone – The 10X Ladies Conference Is Declaring 2020 The Decade For Women

The next ten years are meant for women to continue growing their potential and succeeding in multiple areas, including business....

Marketing2 years ago

How Josh Elizetxe Built Snow Into a $40 Million Dollar Business

There is nothing quite like an entrepreneur’s determination when starting a business. That’s my original quote by the way (pun...

Entrepreneurship2 years ago

How Jason Capital Became A Self Made Millionaire By 24

Have you ever wanted to earn the respect of everyone who ever looked down on you at some point in...

Entrepreneurship2 years ago

Sam Bakhtiar On His Way To A Quarter Billion

Dr. Saman Bakhtiar, who prefers being referred as Sam, lives in an 8200 square foot $5.2 million house, Sam is...

Trending

Copyright © 2020 Disrupt Magazine - Disrupt is a Minority Owned Privately Held Company

Disrupt is the voice of Latino entrepreneurs around the world. We are part of a global movement to increase diversity in the technology industry and we are focused on using entrepreneurship to grow new economies in underserved communities around the world. We enable millennials to become what they want to become in life by learning new skills and leveraging the power of the digital economy. We are living proof that all you need to succeed in this new economy is a landing page and a dream. Disrupt tells the stories of the world top entrepreneurs, developers, creators, and digital marketers and help empower them to teach others the skills they used to grow their careers, chase their passions and create financial freedom for themselves, their families, and their lives, all while living out their true purpose. We recognize the fact that most young people are opting to skip college in exchange for entrepreneurship and real-life experience. This Podcast was designed to give them a taste of that.