Upper respiratory tract signs and symptoms

Upper Respiratory Tract Signs and Symptoms

Upper respiratory tract infections are among the most common infections seen worldwide, and they often involve signs and symptoms in the throat, nose, sinuses, ears and chest. Signs and symptoms typically start mild and worsen over several days. Common upper respiratory tract signs and symptoms include:

  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or stuffiness
  • Coughing
  • Postnasal drip
  • Sneezing
  • Headache
  • Facial pain or pressure
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Body aches
  • Decreased sense of taste or smell

Most upper respiratory infections are caused by viruses, although some forms of bacterial infections (such as strep throat) are also common. Upper respiratory infections can spread easily when people come in contact with a person who is infected or when they are exposed to respiratory droplets from an infected person. Treatment measures for an upper respiratory tract infection are primarily aimed at controlling symptoms and making the person more comfortable.