23: Infections of the respiratory tract

Chapter 23 Infections of the respiratory tract

The human respiratory tract is highly susceptible to infectious diseases, and morbidity of this region accounts for the majority of general practitioner consultations and almost a quarter of all absence from work due to illness in the western world. Most respiratory tract infections are mild, associated with cold, damp winter months when coughing and sneezing in enclosed spaces facilitate the spread of disease. Serious infections are seen in the very young and the very old, and in compromised patients, throughout the year.

Respiratory infections can be broadly classified into upper and lower respiratory tract infections, although both areas may be simultaneously affected by some agents, notably viruses. The throat, pharynx, middle ear and sinuses are involved in upper respiratory tract infections, while lower respiratory tract infections are confined to the trachea, bronchi and lungs.

Infections of the upper respiratory tract

The following infections of the upper respiratory tract of clinical relevance to dentistry are noteworthy:

Rheumatic fever

Jan 4, 2015 | Posted by in General Dentistry | Comments Off on 23: Infections of the respiratory tract
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