Upper Respiratory Infection (cont.)
When to Seek Medical Care for Upper Respiratory Infection
Most patients with acute upper respiratory infections will have a self-limited illness with symptoms resolving in a few days. Depending upon circumstances and symptom progression, some patients should seek medical care.
- Fever, chills, and shortness of breath are not commonly seen with upper respiratory infections and may signal a potentially more significant infection such as influenza, pneumonia, or acute bronchitis.
- Patients who are pregnant, under 2 years of age, or who have underlying illnesses such as asthma or emphysema should seek medical care if they experience shortness of breath.
- Nausea, vomiting, anddiarrhea are not usually associated with an acute upper respiratory infection; however, further evaluation by a health care practitioner may be necessary if these symptoms occur.
- Although infants often catch colds, babies less than three months of age who develop fever should be seen immediately by a health care practitioner because their immune system is not yet fully developed and other infections may be present.
- Patients who are immuno-compromised due to medications or illness should contact their health care practitioner if they develop a fever, even if it seems to be due to an upper respiratory infection.
- Most colds resolve within a week. If symptoms persist, it may be an indication to seek medical evaluation.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/12/2016
Must Read Articles Related to Upper Respiratory Infection
Bronchitis is acute or chronic inflammation of the air passages in the lungs. There are several viruses and bacteria that cause bronchitis. Exposure to pollutan...learn more >>
The cold is the most commonly occurring illness in the entire world, with more than 1 billion colds per year reported in the United States alone. Symptoms and s...learn more >>
A cough is a symptom of an underlying disease or condition. A chronic or persistent cough may signal certain lung conditions that should be evaluated by a healt...learn more >>
Patient Comments & Reviews
The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Upper Respiratory Infection: