Respiratory Infections: a Health Problem

Infectious diseases have always been the main cause of death worldwide. Despite the continuous development of new therapeutic agents seemed if any control, the emergence of new infections and multiple antibiotic resistant strains revived interest on the underlying mechanisms. Immune defenses, which are very sophisticated in humans, adapted from years of developments in the fight against various invading microorganisms, many of which mutate constantly. Lymphocytes can recognize infectious pathogens because they are equipped with protein receptor molecules on their surface. The different cells that make up the immune system have different functions, enabling them to recognize and eliminate invaders. Immune proteins called antibodies are particularly effective in killing bacteria that are outside of the cells.

What are the most common causes that cause these problems?

• Malnutrition.
• Lack of breastfeeding.
• Immunological causes (low defenses).
• Poor nutrition and hygiene factors.
• Lack of maternal care.
• External environment (pollution and epidemics).
• Internal environment (at home).

All these factors contribute to respiratory infections and when they are poorly maintained can lead to complications and death to get to the age group under 5 years.

Analysing the factors predisposing

• Malnutrition: malnourished children in varying degrees, are prey to frequent respiratory infections may complicate rather than children without.
• Lack of breast-feeding: If mothers do not feed their babies in the womb for at least the first 4 months of life, children are more susceptible to viral respiratory infection and that through her womb convey defenses for these infections.
• Immunological factors: Should all children be vaccinated at birth, against various childhood diseases.
• Malnourished children who abuse the junk food and lack of hygienic living is another important factor.
• The mothers neglect their children in times of necessity to work and put them in daycare, other responsible care for their children to untrained individuals.
• The clean environment is an important factor when pollution levels are high, cause upper respiratory infections and they can reduce lung defense mechanisms allowing the entry of virus or bacteria causing respiratory damage.
• The pollution inside the home is just as or more important than external, because sometimes mothers cooking with wood, coal, gas, or smoke in the home contributes to frequent infections.


The clinical picture is what makes the diagnosis of common cold and that there are many viruses that cause the disease, research is not justified by laboratory tests. But in cases of outbreaks of some viruses such as influenza virus makes the determination of the virus using serological techniques isolate a virus is very complicated and is only performed in highly specialized laboratories.

Treatment and Prevention

As we explained, is generated bradykinin and histamine in the inflammatory process that causes the symptoms of colds Therefore, the only treatment should be offered in the common cold is the use of antihistamines that act as symptomatic to reduce congestion and secretion, in addition to the use of analgesics for pain and fever. No, we recommend the use of antibiotics in this phase. The resolution of symptoms occurs in 48-72 hours on average. To prevent the spread should be avoided human group closed and exposure to secretions of sneezing. There are no vaccines for different types of cold viruses, but in the case of the flu and when there are public health problems, there is vaccination against this virus to avoid major outbreaks.