Viruses causing respiratory infections are highly contagious. And they disperse readily via direct contact.
Respiratory tract infections are divided into upper and lower. An upper respiratory tract infection disturb your:
- nasal cavity
For the most part, upper respiratory infections are not considered a major health hazard, but are usually bothersome.
Lower respiratory tract infections afflict your:
- lung alveoli
In general, lower respiratory infections encumber your health more seriously than upper respiratory infections.
The viruses that cause nearly all upper respiratory tract infections are:
- influenza virus
- parainfluenza virus
- respiratory syncytial virus
Some of these can cause gastroenteritis too.
There are many different types of virus, bacteria or fungus caused upper respiratory infections, including:
- strep throat
- common cold
- whooping cough
- Legionnaire’s disease
- otitis media & externa
Your upper respiratory system is the most frequently infected area of the body. And, on average, a child will experience about six virus caused respiratory infections a year.
The prevalent types of lower respiratory infections are:
Influenza is a systemic disturbance, thus it can infect in both your upper and lower respiratory tracts.
Symptoms of upper and lower respiratory tract infections depend on the type. Yet, you can expect some of these classic symptoms:
- ear ache
- sore throat
- muscle aches
- loss of appetite
- runny, stuffy nose
Normally, acute respiratory illnesses last from a couple of days to a couple of weeks.