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Respiratory Tract Infections (RTI)

What are Respiratory tract infections (RTI)?

Respiratory tract infections (RTI)refer to any infectious disease that affects the respiratory tract. RTI is classified into two main types:

  • Upper Respiratory tract infections – It affects the nose, sinuses and throat.
  • Lower Respiratory tract infections – It affects the airways and lungs.

Children are more prone to RTI as compared to adults because they do not have adequate immunity against certain viruses & bacteria that cause these infections.


What causes Respiratory tract infections (RTI)?

RTI is usually caused by viruses as well as bacteria.

Name few common upper RTI and lower RTI along with symptoms.

Few most common upper RTI are common cold, tonsillitis, sinusitis, laryngitis and flu. The symptoms include cough, headache, stuffy/runny nose, sore throat, sneezing and muscular pain.

Few most common lower RTI are flu, pneumonia, bronchitis, bronchiolitis and tuberculosis. The symptoms include severe cough with phlegm/mucus, chest tightness, rapid breathing, breathlessness and wheezing.


How can RTI be treated?
  • Majority of the RTIs don’t require any treatment
  • One should have plenty of fluids as well as rest.
  • In case of severe RTI, the doctor will recommend antibiotics or at times hospitalisation may be required.