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Article On: UPPER RESPIRATORY TRACT INFECTIONS.

Upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) is a contagious infection of your nose and upper airways caused by a germ (Virus). Your upper respiratory tract includes, the nose, throat, pharynx, larynx and bronchi. Common cold is the most well known URTI, others include, sinusitis, pharyngitis, epiglottitis, and tracheobronchitis. Why is the Prettiest Girl In School Trying to Talk to a Loner Like Me During Lunch Break?

WHAT CAUSES URTI?
Both infections and bacteria can cause URTI.

• Viruses: • Rihinovrus, adenovirus, coxsackie virus, parainfluenza virus, respiratory syncytal virus, human metapneumovirus.
• Bacteria: • Group A beta-hemolytic streptococci (GABHS), corynebacterium diphtheriae (diphtheria), neisseria gonorrhea ( gonorrhea).

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF URTI?
Symptoms are caused by the inflammation of the mucous membranes in the upper respiratory tract.
• Runny nose • Nasal congestion • Sneezing • Cough • Sputum production • Fever • Fatigue • Headache • Pain during swallowing • Wheezing.

WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF URTI?
The type of URTI refers to the part of the upper respiratory tract mostly involved in the infection.
• Sinusitis: Inflammation of the sinuses.
• Epiglottitis: Inflammation of the epiglottis, the upper part of the trachea. It protects the airways from foreign particles that could get into the lungs. Swelling is dangerous because it can block the flow of air into the trachea.
• Laryngitis: Is inflammation of the larynx or voice box.
• Bronchitis: inflammation of the right and left bronchial tubes, they branch off from the trachea and go to the right and left lungs.

WHO IS AT RISK?
It spread from one person to another through aerosol droplets and direct hand to hand contact.
• When someone sick sneezes or coughs without closing the mouth. Droplets containing the viruses are sprayed in the air.
• When people are in a closed-in area or crowded conditions. E.g. Hospitals, schools, institutions and daycare centres.
• When you touch your nose or eyes. Infection occurs when the infected secretions comes in close contact with your nose or eyes.
• During the fall and winter (September-March) when people are more likely to be inside.
• If you have a weakened immune system.

HOW IS URTI DIAGNOSED?
Looking at the patients medical history and doing a physical exam. Tests carried out are:
• Throat swab • Lateral neck x-Rays • Chest X-Ray • CT Scan.

HOW IS URTI TREATED?
Use of cough suppressants, expectorants, vitamin C, and zinc to reduce symptoms. Other treatments include:
• Nasal decongestants can improve breathing. May be less effective with recurrent use, and can cause rebound nasal congestion.
• Steam inhalation and gaggling with salt waterare a safe way to get relief from URI symptoms.
• Analgesics like acetaminophen and NSAIDs can help reduce fever, aches and pains.

HOW CAN URTI BE PREVENTED?
• The best prevention against URIs is frequent hand washing with soap and water. Washing your hand reduces exposure to secretions that can spread infection.
• Avoid being in close contact with people who are sick.
• Wipe down objects such as remote control, phones and doorknobs hat may be touched by people in the house who have URI.
• Cover your mouth and nose if you're the one who is sick.
• Stay home if you are sick.