Respiratory infections

A respiratory infection can be caused by either a virus or bacteria and is divided into two types. An upper respiratory tract infection is infections of the ears, nose, throat and sinuses, simply a common cold. Lower respiratory tract infections are infections of the trachea, bronchi and lung tissue. They are often more persistent and it may take a few weeks for you to fully recover.


Respiratory infections can have different symptoms.

It is common for you to have some of the following symptoms:

Upper respiratory infection

  • Fatigue
  • Sniffles or nasal congestion
  • Sore throat
  • cough
  • Fever

Lower respiratory infection

  • You get a cold with a cough, fever and sore throat that gets worse after four to five days.
  • It hurts when you breathe in deeply. 
  • You may cough up phlegm. The mucus may be white, yellow, green, brown or mixed with blood.
  • You are breathless without exertion.
  • Fever that may cause chills or shivering
  • You may have difficulty breathing.
  • You may become dizzy and confused.


Upper respiratory infection

An upper respiratory infection can be caused by both viruses and bacteria but the most common cause is viruses. The common cold is the most common form of respiratory infection. A cold affects the upper airways, mainly in the nose.

Viruses or bacteria cause the mucous membranes to become infected. They become swollen and produce more mucus than usual. The mucus can be thin or thick. It can be green or yellow in colour.

Lower respiratory infection 

You can get a lower respiratory infection for various reasons. The most common are bacteria or viruses. Pneumonia, which is a lower respiratory infection, can affect one or both lungs. The bacterium pneumococcus is responsible for more than half of all pneumonias. Various viruses can also cause pneumonia. Some viruses that often cause pneumonia in adults include the influenza virus and the RS virus.


 The respiratory infection usually heals on its own if it is caused by a virus. In the case of a bacterial infection, the most common treatment is antibiotics. Which medicine you receive depends on which bacteria has caused the respiratory infection.

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Remote patient monitoring for respiratory infection

If you are being monitored for a respiratory infection, you will have a form sent to you in a mobile app where you must answer questions about symptoms of a respiratory infection. When you answer the form, the result is recorded in the app and automatically transferred to your healthcare caregiver. In the app, you can see previously answered questionnaires about respiratory infection. If the answer to the questionnaire shows that you have serious symptoms, your caregiver will be notified of this and can contact you for possible measures.