Also called: URI, Upper Respiratory Tract Infection
An upper respiratory infection (URI) is an infection that affects the nose and throat. A cold is the most common type of URI. Croup and sinusitis are also URIs.
URIs may cause swelling inside the nose, which is what gives a person that "stuffed up" feeling. Other common symptoms include a sore throat, sneezing, and a runny nose.
URIs are highly contagious and spread through coughing, hand contact, and even by touching objects an infected person has touched. Kids in childcare and grade school get the most colds. Infections like this are most widespread in winter months.
Most colds clear up in a week with no treatment. If a URI lasts longer than a week or your child is getting worse instead of better, talk to a doctor. Pain in the chest, ears, or sinuses could be signs of a more serious infection.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.
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