Respiratory tract infections (RTIs) are infections that affect the respiratory system, including the nose, throat, sinuses, bronchi, and lungs. They can be caused by a variety of pathogens, including viruses, bacteria, and fungi.
Symptoms of RTIs may include cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, fever, and difficulty breathing. The severity and duration of symptoms depend on the type and severity of the infection, as well as the individual’s immune system and overall health.
Treatment for RTIs varies depending on the cause and severity of the infection. Viral infections typically do not respond to antibiotics and may be managed with over-the-counter medications, such as pain relievers and decongestants, to relieve symptoms. Bacterial infections may require antibiotics, such as amoxicillin or azithromycin, to clear the infection. Fungal infections may require antifungal medications to treat the underlying infection.
Prevention of RTIs involves good hygiene practices, such as washing hands frequently, covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and avoiding close contact with people who are sick. Getting vaccinated against common respiratory pathogens, such as influenza and pneumococcal bacteria, can also help prevent RTIs. Additionally, avoiding smoking and maintaining good overall health, such as getting regular exercise and eating a healthy diet, may help reduce the risk of developing RTIs.