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Upper Respiratory Infection: Symptoms & Signs

Upper respiratory infections (URI) are very common and include the common cold and flu. An upper respiratory infection is defined as an infection of any of the structures of the upper respiratory tract: the sinuses, nasal passages, pharynx, and larynx. Examples of specific types of upper respiratory infection include rhinitis (inflammation of the nasal cavity), sinusitis (sinus infection), nasopharyngitis (inflammation of the nasal cavity, pharynx, hypopharynx, uvula, and tonsils), pharyngitis (inflammation of the pharynx, uvula, and tonsils), laryngitis (inflammation of the larynx), and epiglottitis (inflammation of the upper portion of the larynx or the epiglottis). Viruses cause most upper respiratory infections, although bacteria and fungi can also infect these areas.

Other upper respiratory infection symptoms and signs

  • Body Aches
  • Breathing Difficulty
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Enlarged Lymph Nodes
  • Enlarged Tonsils
  • Facial Swelling
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Hoarseness
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of Voice
  • Malaise
  • Nasal Congestion
  • Nasal Discharge (Runny Nose)
  • Painful Swallowing
  • Postnasal Drip
  • Scratchy Throat
  • Sinus Pressure
  • Sneezing
  • Sore Throat
  • Watery Eyes

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/10/2019


COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is the same as adult-onset asthma. See Answer
Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2019

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