Respiratory Tract Infections


Upper Respiratory Tract Infections (URIs)

URI or ‘common cold’, is the most frequent illness in humans. The main symptoms of URI are nasal stuffiness and discharge, sneezing, sore throat, and cough.1

Lower Respiratory Tract Infections (LRTIs)

LRTIs refer to the inflammation of the trachea, bronchi, bronchioles, and lung tissue. Older people have an increased risk of developing LRTIs compared to young adults.2

Graphic virus

Since URTIs are mostly viral in aetiology and bacterial AOM and ABRS frequently resolve spontaneously, these recommendations include diagnostic criteria to assist in separating viral from bacterial causes and hence select those patients who do not require antibiotics. Penicillin remains the drug of choice for tonsillopharyngitis and amoxicillin the drug of choice for both AOM and ABRS.3


  1. Heikkinen T, Ruuskanen O. Upper Respiratory Tract Infection. In: Encyclopedia of Respiratory Medicine. Elsevier; 2006:385-388. doi:10.1016/B0-12-370879-6/00416-6
  2. Liu Y, Zhang Y, Zhao W, et al. Pharmacotherapy of Lower Respiratory Tract Infections in Elderly-Focused on Antibiotics. Front Pharmacol. 2019;10:1237. doi:10.3389/fphar.2019.01237
  3. Brink AJ, Cotton MF, Feldman C, et al. Updated Recommendations for the Management of Upper Respiratory Tract Infections in South Africa. SAMJ. 2015;105(5):345-352. doi:10.7196/SAMJ.8716