Upper Respiratory Tract Infections: General Information


Category of Upper Respiratory Tract Infections:


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Contagiousness of Upper Respiratory Tract Infections

How respiratory infections spread

RTIs can spread in several ways. If you have an infection such as a cold, tiny droplets of fluid containing the cold virus are launched into the air whenever you sneeze or cough. If these are breathed in by someone else, they may also become infected.

Infections can also be spread through indirect contact. For example, if you have a cold and you touch your nose or eyes before touching an object or surface, the virus may be passed to someone else when they touch that object or surface.

The best way to prevent spreading infections is to practise good hygiene, such as regularly washing your hands with soap and warm water.

Read more about preventing germs from spreading.

Source: NHS Choices UK2

Onset Age of Upper Respiratory Tract Infections

Children tend to get more upper RTIs than adults because they haven't built up immunity (resistance) to the many viruses that can cause these infections.

Source: NHS Choices UK3

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  1. Source: NCI Thesaurus
  2. Source: NHS Choices UK: nhs.uk/ conditions/ Respiratory-tract-infection/ 
  3. ibid.

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Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.