Respiratory infections can be categorized into two classifications: upper respiratory tract infections (URI or URTI) and lower respiratory tract infections (LRI or LRTI).
Upper respiratory tract infections affect the part of the respiratory tract above the vocal cords or glottis. Examples of URIs are the common cold, tonsillitis, and sinusitis. Common symptoms include a cough, runny nose, headache, nasal congestion, and sore throat.
The lower respiratory tract includes the trachea, bronchial tubes, bronchioles, and lungs. Infections involve the lower respiratory tract are more severe than URIs and include diseases such as pneumonia and bronchitis. Among all types of infectious diseases, LRIs are the most dangerous, representing the leading cause of death. With the arrival of COVID-19 and the complications that will result from the coming flu season, our respiratory infection CME courses can be especially informative.