Lower respiratory infection || Prevention of respiratory infections || Risk factors for lower respiratory infections




WHAT IS RESPIRATORY SYSTEM?

The respiratory system is a biological system consisting of specific organs and structures used for gas exchange.




WHAT ARE THE PARTS OF THE LOWER RESPIRATORY OTY TRACT?

The lower respiratory tract or lower respiratory system consists of the trachea, the bronchi and bronchioles, and the alveoli, which make up the lungs. These structures pull in air from the upper respiratory system, absorb oxygen, and release carbon dioxide in exchange.

WHAT IS LOWER RESPIRATORY INFECTION?

When an infection of the lungs occurs it is called the lower respiratory tract infection (RTI), specifically in the lower airways. This infection is usually caused by a virus, but it can also be caused by bacteria or other less common organisms. Common lower RTIs in infants and young children include Flu.




Symptoms: Cough; Shortness of breath; Fever 

According to WHO Lower respiratory infections is ranked as the 4th leading cause of death. According to 2019’s report, lower respiratory infections were the reason for  2.6 million deaths.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT RESPIRATORY ILLNESSES AND DISEASES?

        a. Asthma

        b. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) 

        c. Chronic Bronchitis

        d. Emphysema

        e. Lung Cancer

         f. Cystic Fibrosis / Bronchiectasis

        g. Pneumonia

        h. Pleural Effusion




WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF RESPIRATORY TRACT INFECTION (RTI) SYMPTOMS?

Less severe infections can have symptoms similar to the common cold:-

     a. a stuffed up or a runny nose

       b. a dry cough

       c. a low fever

       d. a mild sore throat

        e. a dull headache

In more severe infections, symptoms can include:-

 a. a severe cough that may produce phlegm b. fever

        c. difficulty breathing

        d. a blue tint to the skin

        e. rapid breathing

       f. chest pain 

        g. wheezing




WHAT ARE THE RESPIRATORY INFECTION CAUSES?

        A. Typical bacterial Infections:

         i. Haemophilus influenzae

             ii. Staphylococcus aureus

            iii. Klebsiella pneumonia

        B. Atypical bacterial Infections:

               i. Legionella pneumophila

              ii. Mycoplasma pneumonia

             iii. Chlamydophila pneumonia

             iv. Chlamydia psittaci

        C. Parasitic infections:

               i. Respiratory cryptosporidiosis

        D. Viral infections:

                i. Adenovirus

               ii. Influenza A virus

              iii. Influenza B virus

              iv. Human parainfluenza viruses

               v. Human respiratory syncytial virus

              vi. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV)

             vii. Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)

            viii. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)

              ix. Aspiration pneumonia




        E. Environmental causes:

                 i. tobacco smoke

                ii. dust

               iii. chemicals

               iv. vapors and fumes

                v. allergens

               vi. air pollution

WHAT ARE THE COMMON RISK FACTORS TO DEVELOP A LOWER RESPIRATORY TRACT INFECTION?

                i. a recent cold or flu

               ii. a weakened immune system

              iii. being more than 65 years old

              iv. being under 5 years old

               v. recent surgery

WHAT ARE THE DIAGNOSTIC TESTS FOR RTI?

                i. pulse oximetry to find how much oxygen is in the blood

               ii. chest X-rays to check for pneumonia

              iii. blood tests to check for bacteria and viruses

              iv. mucus samples to look for bacteria and viruses

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TREATMENTS?

               i. over-the-counter (OTCs) medications for a cough or fever

              ii. plenty of rest

             iii. drinking plenty of fluids




WHAT ARE THE PREVENTIONS?

              i. Minimizing close contact with people who are coughing and sneezing.

             ii. Frequent handwashing, either with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizers (containing ≥60% alcohol) when soap and water are not available.

            iii. Using a vasoconstricting nasal spray immediately before air travel if the traveler has a preexisting eustachian tube dysfunction, which may help lessen the likelihood of otitis or barotraumas.

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