What Is Acute Respiratory
respiratory infection is an infection that may interfere with normal breathing.
It usually begins as a viral infection in the nose, trachea (windpipe), or
lungs. If the infection isn’t treated, it can spread to the entire respiratory
respiratory infections are infectious. This means they can spread from one
person to another.
is quite widespread. It’s particularly dangerous for children, older adults,
and people with immune system disorders.
What Causes Acute
causes of the condition are unknown, a few have been identified.
are a class of microorganisms that can cause acute respiratory infection.
Adenoviruses consist of more than 50 different types of viruses known to cause
the common cold, bronchitis, and pneumonia.
is a type of bacterium that causes meningitis. It can also trigger certain
respiratory illnesses like pneumonia.
are the source of the common cold. Colds are uncomplicated in most cases.
However, in the very young, older adults, and those with a weak immune system,
a cold can lead to acute respiratory infection.
Who Is at Risk for Acute
impossible to avoid viruses and bacteria, but certain risk factors increase your
chances of developing acute respiratory infection. The immune systems of
children and older adults are more prone to being affected by viruses. Children
are especially at risk because of their constant contact with other kids who
could be virus carriers. Children often don’t wash their hands regularly. They
rub their eyes and put their fingers in their mouths, resulting in the spread
heart disease or other lung problems are more likely to contract an acute
respiratory infection. Anyone whose immune system might be weakened by another
disease is at risk. Smokers also are at high risk and have more trouble
What Are the Symptoms of
Acute Respiratory Infection?
symptoms of acute respiratory infection usually appear in the nose and upper
lungs. These symptoms include:
either in the nasal sinuses or lungs
disease advances, there may be high fever and chills. Other serious symptoms
blood oxygen level
How Is Acute Respiratory
respiratory exam, the doctor focuses on the patient’s breathing. They will
check for fluid and inflammation in the lungs by listening to your breath
sounds in the lungs. The doctor may peer into your nose and check your throat.
If caught early, over-the-counter medications can help alleviate symptoms while
the virus runs its course. However, if the infection is advanced, an X-ray or
CT scan may be necessary to check the condition of the lungs.
function tests have been useful as diagnostic tools. Pulse oximetry, also known
as pulse ox, can check how much oxygen gets into the lungs. A physician may
also need a sputum (material coughed up from the lungs) sample to check for the
type of virus causing the disease.
How Is Acute Respiratory
viruses, there are no known cures. Your doctor may prescribe medications to
manage your symptoms while monitoring your condition. If the viral infection
results in a secondary infection caused by bacteria, tests will help your doctor
determine the appropriate type of antibiotic to use.
What Are Potential
Complications of Acute Respiratory Infection?
of acute respiratory infection are extremely serious and can result in
permanent damage and even death. They include:
of an acute respiratory infection aren’t treatable. Therefore, prevention is
the best method to ward off harmful respiratory infections. Practice good
hygiene by doing the following:
your hands frequently, especially after you’ve been in a public place.
sneeze into the arm of your shirt or in a tissue. Although this may not ease
your own symptoms, it will prevent you from spreading infectious diseases.
touching your face, especially your eyes and mouth, to prevent introducing
germs into your system.
avoid smoking and make sure you include plenty of vitamins in your diet, such
as vitamin C, which helps boost your immune system.