Marked Increase In Upper Respiratory Tract Infections In City

Respiratory Infections
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City physicians and medical facilities have reported a three fold increase in patients coming in with URTI ( Upper respiratory tract infections ) over the past few weeks.

Constant fluctuations in the weather have further added to the inordinate spread of several such infections. Often manifests with common cold symptoms and progresses quickly to a full blown infection with fever and body ache and acute throat pain.

Dr Roshan Palresha, (Emergency Medicine Specialist/ Columbia Asia Hospital) explains, “Respiratory infections refer to any infections involving the respiratory tract, be it upper tract or lower tract. It is a pathological state resulting from the invasion of pathogenic microorganisms.” This is divided into Upper respiratory tract and lower respiratory tract infections.

Common URTI’s Include:

  • The common cold.
  • A sore throat – usually due to an infection of the pharynx (pharyngitis)
  • Tonsillitis – infection of the tonsils.
  • Sinusitis – infection of the sinuses.
  • Laryngitis – infection of the larynx.


Most upper respiratory tract infections are caused by viruses. There are more than two hundred different viruses that can cause a respiratory tract infection, he added. However, the most common viruses belong to one of two groups-. Rhinoviruses and Coronaviruses.

The most common respiratory tract infection is a cold. The number of different viruses that can cause a cold is a reason why it is possible to have several bouts of the cold, one after the other, with each one being caused by a different virus, Palresha adds.

Most lower respiratory tract infections are also caused by viruses. The exception is pneumonia, which is usually caused by Streptococcus pneumonia bacteria.

Dr Roshan further explains, There is an exponential increase in the number of patients off late exhibiting similar symptoms.

Respiratory tract infections (RTIs) can affect the sinuses, throat, airways or lungs. Most get better in a few days, but if it persists or is acute,you should consult a physician

A cough – with mucus (phlegm), Sneezing, Stuffy or a runny nose, sore throat, headaches, Muscle aches, Breathlessness, tight chest or wheezing, High fever are all typical symptoms that may need to be treated.

What You Can Do To Recover: 

  • Take plenty of rest.
  • Drink lots of water to loosen any mucus to be able to bring it out.
  • Gargle with warm salt water if you have a sore throat (children shouldn’t try this).
  • Steam inhalation with eucalyptus oil etc.
  • Using extra pillows while sleeping to ease breathing

These are only basic remedies to help you feel better but if the infection persists or you are developing breathlessness or wheezing or feeling uneasy, seek medical intervention at the earliest.

Bhushan Harkare, techie says, “My wife has perennial cold issues and a minor weather change affects her health and that goes on for a week. She often has breathlessness. I was not aware of the respiratory tract infections and it wasn’t explained to us also. We will now have it thoroughly checked.

Respiratory tract infection is as bad as any other infection. Nowadays, If you’re diagnosed with respiratory tract infections you’re grounded for several weeks, Kamla Chowdhury, The process and the medication takes time, so don’t ignore even if it is a normal cold and cough, she added


#Readers are advised that the content is purely for information and is not intended as a remedy for any condition mentioned. Please seek specialised medical advise to treat all infections. 


Ankita Malekar

Ankita Malekar

A talkative tiny speck in the world of Media, with an itch for travel and paws.
Ankita Malekar