Respiratory infection is a medical condition that affects the respiratory system, which includes the lungs, bronchi, trachea, and throat. Respiratory infections are caused by a wide range of pathogens, including viruses, bacteria, fungi, and other microbes. The symptoms of respiratory infections can range from mild to severe, and can include coughing, shortness of breath, fever, congestion, and fatigue.
Common respiratory infections include the common cold, flu (influenza), pneumonia, bronchitis, and sinusitis. Viral respiratory infections are typically more common and less severe than bacterial respiratory infections. However, bacterial respiratory infections can be more severe and may require antibiotics to treat.
Prevention and treatment of respiratory infections often involve simple measures such as hand washing, avoiding close contact with others who are sick, and covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. Treatment may also include over-the-counter or prescription medications to relieve symptoms or fight the infection. In severe cases, hospitalization may be required for treatment and monitoring. It is important to seek medical attention if you experience symptoms of a respiratory infection, especially if you have underlying health conditions that increase your risk of complications.