Respiratory Infections

Common Cold

Inflammation of the nasal passages due to any number of respiratory viruses. Usually not serious; vast majority are self-treated. Incidence/Prevalence in USA: Preschool children 6-10 colds/yr; kindergarten 12/yr; schoolchildren 7/yr; adolescents/adults 2-4/yr. National Ambulatory Survey: 31 episodes/100 persons/year (counting only colds that lead to medical attention or at least one day of restricted activity).

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease & Emphysema

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) encompasses several diffuse pulmonary diseases including chronic bronchitis, asthma, cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis, and emphysema. The term usually refers to a mixture of chronic bronchitis and emphysema.


Conditions that may lead to bronchiectasis include severe pneumonia (especially measles, pertussis, adenoviral infections in children), necrotizing infections due to Klebsiella, staphylococci, influenza virus, fungi, mycobacteria, mycoplasma, bronchial obstruction from any cause (foreign body, carcinoma, enlarged mediastinal lymph nodes.

Review of Colds

Allergic rhinitis symptoms (runny nose, mild congestion, itchy eyes) seem to be associated with the move to a new location. Headache may be due to congestion. Wheezing may indicate new onset of asthma.

Assessment of Colds

Dress normally, maintain clear fluids and healthy diet, and rest as much as possible. Wash your hands frequently, and clean surfaces with antiviral products, such as Lysol, to prevent spreading your cold to others.

Pulmonary Infections

Acute pneumonia is a potentially life-threatening illness requiring rapid diagnosis and treatment. A delay in antibiotic treatment increases the risk of a fatal outcome. Annually, 2 to 3 million cases of pneumonia are reported in the United States.

Central Nervous System Abscess

Brain abscess is an uncommon disease, found in about 1 in 10,000 general hospital admissions. Infection of the cerebral cortex can result from the direct spread of bacteria from another focus of infection (accounts for 20% to 60% of cases) or from hematogenous seeding.