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What is an upper respiratory tract infection (uri)?

An upper respiratory infection (or URI) is an infection of the nose, sinuses, throat, and voice box. The most common URI is the common cold. Colds are caused by viruses (usually rhinoviruses), and they are the most common reason for missing school or work. Symptoms include a stuffy, runny nose, scratchy or sore throat, and sneezing. Some cold viruses can also cause headaches, a cough, loss of appetite and muscle aches. People with a cold usually have no fever, or a low fever. If you have cold-like symptoms with a high fever, it may be the flu or another illness. While most colds get better on their own with rest, they can lead to more serious conditions. Call your doctor if you have trouble breathing, a high fever or symptoms that last more than 7 to 10 days. Other URIs include pharyngitis (inflammation of the back of the throat) and sinusitis (infection of the sinuses), which may be the result of a cold.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.