Nonspecific upper respiratory tract infection is caused by a virus 98% of the time according to the United States Centers for Disease Control. Approximately only 2% is caused by bacterial rhinosinusitis. Patients will experience sore throat, a cough, runny or stuffy nose and sometimes a mild fever. Higher fevers signal that you may have a bacterial infection causing your illness. Symptoms can last about 10 to 14 days. Upper respiratory infection symptoms typically should not be treated with an antibiotic.
The most common symptoms of an upper respiratory infection, or cold are usually sinus related combined with a sore throat and cough. From time to time, you may experience a hoarseness or laryngitis. Patients should treat their upper respiratory infection symptoms with over the counter antihistamines, decongestants, cough suppressants, and pain relievers. Sleep is the best treatment when you have a viral infection.
Many patients that we see as online doctors wonder about being treated with an antibiotic. In truth, even purulent nasal secretions do not always signal that a patient has a bacterial infection that can be treated with antibiotics. A patient must have other signs and symptoms of a bacterial infection.
All medical forums and the CDC recommend that you do not treat a patient with a viral infection with antibiotics. Doing so, increases the risk of the patient developing an antibiotic resistant infection, and increases the odds of bacterial mutations.
SmartDocMD treats all types of non-emergency medical illnesses including sinus infections, colds, a cough, pink eye / conjunctivitis, eye allergies, urinary tract infection and yeast infections. To begin your treatment, click to start here. You’ll fill out a bit of information about your symptoms, how long they’ve been occurring, and brief medical history.