Is a upper respiratory infection contagious?

Upper respiratory tract infections are of different types and caused by over 200 viruses. They can range from a common cold, sore throat, laryngitis, influenza, tonsillitis, sinusitis or croup (in children). Kids are more at risk of spreading and contracting these infections than adults. Yes, these viruses are extremely contagious so avoid shaking hands, kissing, sharing any food or beverages.

Always remember that if you are in close proximity with an ill person who coughs or sneezes large droplets, or in direct contact with surfaces holding the virus, you are at high risk of contracting the virus. Closed places like homes, schools, dormitories, day-care-centers are more places of high risk. All those exposed to the virus may not become ill. Many infected individuals show no symptoms and infection can build up immunity from future infections.

Home remedies include:

  1. Drink plenty of fluids.
  2. Take rest. Rest helps in early recovery.
  3. Salt water gargles are helpful if one has a sore throat.
  4. Steaming hot soups help to loosen mucous, relieve chest congestion and nasal secretions.
  5. Use humidifier to keep mucous membranes moist and petroleum jelly around your nose.
  6. Saline nose drops can help loosen mucus.
  7. Avoid touching your mouth, eyes, nose or any surfaces frequently as these are likely to spread the virus your hands may have been in contact with.
  8. Unless ventilation is good, avoid shared space with people who are ill with infections spread through tiny-droplets.
  9. Ensure that the room is well ventilated.
  10. OTC pain relievers or cold/flu/sinus remedies provide relief from symptoms temporarily but do not shorten the duration of infection.

If symptoms last longer than one week or worsen, seek medical help.

answered by P P

Warning: does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. see additional information
Read more questions in Health Advice