If you have any respiratory symptoms such as a cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, head cold or loss of smell, with or without fever, call your GP or Healthline's dedicated COVID-19 number 0800 358 5453 to check whether you need to be tested for COVID-19.
- RTIs are divided into 2 categories: upper and lower.
- Lower RTIs, such as pneumonia, tend to be more serious than upper RTIs, such as colds or a sinus infection.
- Most upper RTIs can be treated at home, but young children, older adults, pregnant women or people with long-term health conditions who get a lower RTI may need to see a doctor.
- You can reduce the spread of RTIs by washing your hands and covering your coughs and sneezes.
- You can reduce your risk of catching RTIs by having an annual flu vaccination, and healthy lifestyle habits such as regular exercise, quitting smoking, eating well and getting plenty of sleep.
Upper RTIs are very common and affect your nose, sinuses, throat (pharynx) and voice box (larynx). Symptoms of upper URIs include a cough, sore throat, runny nose, nasal congestion, headache, low-grade fever and facial pressure.
Common upper RTIs include:
- sinusitis – sinus infection
- tonsillitis – tonsil infection
- laryngitis – voice box infection
- pharyngitis – throat infection.