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Asthma :: Allergy :: Bronchiectasis :: COPD
Cystic Fibrosis :: Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD)
Respiratory Infections :: Sleep Disorders :: Lung Cancer

Upper Respiratory Tract Infections (URTI)

Main feature: watery to mucoid, sometimes purulent nasal discharge "coryza". Often preceded by a sore throat, sometimes accompanied by fever and often followed by transient opportunist bacterial infection.

Pharyngitis ("sore throat")
Generalised erythema of pharynx, not localised to the tonsils and not associated with coryza. Some fever present.

Local infection of tonsils = red, swollen with exudate on the surface. (Bacterial tonsillitis
 is quite common.)

Sinusitis & Otitis Media
Painful inflammatory conditions of sinuses and middle ear. Drainage of these spaces may be impaired and lead to bacterial infection. (Bacterial infections are usually secondary to viral infection of the nose and pharynx.)

Fever, myalgia, sore throat, headache, prostration - usually NOT much nasal discharge compared to a cold. Maybe some cough.

Lower Respiratory Tract Infection (LRTI)

Laryngo-Tracheo Bronchitis (Croup)
An acute viral inflammation of larynx and trachea in small children. Often preceded by a "cold". Accompanied by pyrexia, hoarseness, croaking cough, stridor, restlessness (respiratory insufficiency). Can be fatal - i.e. life-threatening disease.

Acute Bronchitis
Inflammation of bronchi, accompanied by fever, cough, wheezing and "noisy chest".

Acute Bronchiolitis
Inflammation of terminal bronchioles in small children. Bronchiole diameter is larger during inspiration than during expiration and this leads to hyperinflation of air sacs distal to bronchiole. Complete plugging of bronchiole with air resorption leads to collapse. These features can be seen on x-ray. Usually preceded by coryzal symptoms which later develops into the major pulmonary illness. Clinically there is fever, rapid respiration, exhausting cough and wheezing.

Pneumonia & Bronchopneumonia
Acute respiratory disease accompanied by fever, restlessness and cyanosis (blue discolouration of skin due to low oxygen). Often not much clinical "consolidation". Again, can be life-threatening.

TB, or tuberculosis, is a disease caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria can attack any part of your body, but they usually attack the lungs. TB disease was once the leading cause of death in the United States.

Click here to find more about Tuberculosis.

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