Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Upper respiratory tract infection – The Causes and Risk Factors

Respiratory Disease is defined as medical conditions which affect the breathing organ and tissues including Inflammatory lung disease, Obstructive lung diseases, Restrictive lung diseases, Respiratory tract infections, trachea, bronchi, bronchioles, alveoli, the nerves and  muscles breathing , etc,.
V. A. Upper respiratory tract infection
Upper respiratory tract infections are considered to be the infection of the airway above the glottis or vocal cords. This includes the nose, sinuses, pharynx, and larynx, including the infection of tonsillitis, pharyngitis, laryngitis, sinusitis, otitis media, etc,.
B. Causes and Risk factors
B.1. Causes 
Upper respiratory tract infections are most likely to be caused by viral infection. The sicknesses are
are spread from person to person by spreading from person to person in respiratory droplets through sneezing or coughing and individual are infected with the virus before symptoms arise. It is advised to cover sneezes and coughs, and regular hand washing should provide some protection duringthe season of the common cold and influenza (flu).In the study of the influenza A virus, one of the leading causes of respiratory tract infections in humans, found that various strategies used by influenza A viruses to evade innate immune responses and recognition by components of the humoral and cellular immune response, which consequently may result in reduced clearing of the virus and virus-infected cells(4). Other study indicated that Influenza viruses cause annual outbreaks of respiratory tract infection with attack rates of 5-10%. During attack, strain-specific antibody responses are induced, which exert selective pressure on circulating influenza viruses and which drive antigenic drift of seasonal influenza viruses, especially in the hemagglutinin molecule. This antigenic drift necessitates updating of seasonal influenza vaccines regularly in order to match the circulating strains(5).
B.2. Risk factors
1. Age 
Young children and elder are susceptible to the infection by virus in cold and flu season as a result of immature and weakened immune system, accordingly.
2. Antibiotic resistance
Upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) are common in children. The cause of URTIs is usually viral, but parents’ attitudes often contribute to inappropriate prescription of antibiotics, promoting antibiotic resistance. The risk factors of being a father, having low education, having immigrant status, being a single parent, having low income, having <2 or >3 children, living in the islands, and being without experience in recurrent URTIs were significantly associated to inadequate knowledge, inappropriate attitudes, and wrong practices(6).
3. Weakened Immune system
People with Weakened Immune system as a result of the chronic illness, may at increased risk of cold and flu. In the study to assess the effects of CHS on host innate immunity and avian influenza virus H5N1 infection in mice, found that The CHS treatment group exhibited reduced local immunity in the respiratory tract, including the number of pulmonary alveolar macrophages and lesions in the nasal mucosa, trachea, and lungs(7).
4. Etc.
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