Febrile Respiratory Illness

What is Febrile Respiratory Illness (FRI)?

Febrile Respiratory Illness (FRI) is an infection of the upper respiratory tract that is marked by an increase in temperature (fever), sore throat and body ache. It is one of the most common and serious illnesses in the United States. The infection is spread through contact with respiratory droplets from someone with FRI or through contact with infected objects.

It is important to recognize FRI symptoms early, as they can quickly develop into more serious illnesses, such as bronchitis, pneumonia, or even the flu. Most cases of FRI can be easily treated with medications and rest, however, more serious cases may require hospitalization.

Symptoms of FRI

  • Fever (usually over 101°F)
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Runny nose
  • Body aches
  • Loss of appetite


Most cases of FRI can be treated at home with medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to reduce fever and pain, and by getting plenty of rest. If symptoms are severe, a visit to the doctor may be necessary to ensure proper treatment.

Your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic if the infection is bacterial in nature. However, if the FRI is caused by a virus, an antibiotic will not be effective. In this case, your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication to help reduce the length or severity of your symptoms.

Prevention and Control

FRI can be prevented and controlled with proper hygiene. Washing your hands frequently, avoiding contact with people who are sick, covering your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough, and getting the influenza vaccine can help reduce your risk of getting an FRI.

If you do get sick, staying home from work or school is important in order to prevent the spread of the infection. Disinfecting surfaces such as doorknobs and countertops can also help reduce the spread of the virus.