Flashcards in 22. Upper respiratory tract infections Deck (16):
Describe the upper respiratory tract
This includes the nose, paranasal sinuses, middle ear, nasopharynx, oropharynx, laryngopharynx, tonsils and adenoids
All of this is colonised by a variety of flora
What are some common infections of the upper respiratory tract?
Pharyngitis i.e. core throat
Otitis media (middle ear infection)
These are mainly caused by viruses
Give the name of some viral pathogens
Respiratory syncytial virus
Describe 'colds' as URTIs
These are caused by numerous strains of rhinoviruses
Often preceded by a sore throat, sometimes accompanied by a fever and often followed by an opportunistic bacterial infection
Can lead to otitis media (middle ear infection) in children and sinusitis in adults
Briefly describe rhinoviruses and how they can present clinically
Over 100 serotypes
Responsible for 50% of common colds
Incubation period is short - 1 to 3 days followed by headache, sore throat, blocked nose
Watery discharge from the nose
Infection resolves in about a week
Following a cold, is the patient then immune to the rhinovirus?
Following a rhinovirus cold, there is a short period of immunity to all colds
There is also prolonged immunity to the specific serotype causing the recent infection
What is pharyngitis?
This is an inflammation of the pharynx - generally due to a group A strep infection
Commonly known as a sore throat
What are the clinical features of pharyngitis?
Incubation period of 2-3 days
Sore throat, fever, feel ill,
Tender cervical nodes
Can lead to quincy
May occasionally lead to scarlet fever
What is quincy?
Inflammation of the throat
May be an abscess in the region of the tonsils
How can pharyngitis be diagnosed and treated?
Send throat swab for bacterial culture
Treated with antibiotics
What is otitis media and how is it treated?
Middle ear infection due to viruses e.g. stretpcoccus phyogenes, streptococcus pneumoniae, haemophilus influenza
Generally occurs in children and is much less common in adults
Treated with antibiotics
What is sinusitis and how is it treated?
Inflammation of a nasal sinus
Can be due to viral infection such as those causing otitis media or due to bacterial infection e.g. streptococcus pneumomniae
Treatment is not always necessary in this instance -dependant on the patient
What is epiglottitis and how is it treated??
This is an inflammation of the epiglottis (prevents food from entering the trachea) - almost always bacteraemic
Can lead to rapid onset of respiratory obstruction - a CT scan/lateral x-ray can show swelling of the soft tissues in the neck
This is a medical emergency - tracheostomy, antibiotics, prophylaxis
What is the 'Epstein Barr Virus'?
EBV - causes glandular fever
Causes a systemic disease but this usually presents as a sore throat
Can present as pharyngeal and tonsillar swelling and also often get enlargement of the spleen and the liver
What is 'Respiratory syncytial virus'?
RSV - single major pathogen in respiratory conditions in childhood
Causes a localised infection of the respiratory tract - infants have no maternal passive protection