Upper Respiratory Infection (Pediatric)
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An upper respiratory infection (URI) is a common infection of the nose, throat, and upper air passages that lead to the lungs. It is caused by a virus. The most common type of URI is the common cold.
URIs usually get better on their own, without medical treatment. URIs in children may last longer than they do in adults.
This condition may be diagnosed based on your child's medical history and symptoms and a physical exam. Your child's health care provider may use a swab to take a mucus sample from the nose (nasal swab). This sample can be tested to determine what virus is causing the illness.
URIs usually get better on their own within 7–10 days. Medicines or antibiotics cannot cure URIs, but your child's health care provider may recommend over-the-counter cold medicines to help relieve symptoms if your child is 6 years of age or older.
How to prevent the spread of infection to others
These symptoms may be an emergency. Do not wait to see if the symptoms will go away. Get help right away. Call 911.
This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider. Make sure you discuss any questions you have with your health care provider.
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