Recurrent Respiratory Tract Infection (RRTIs, Repeated Upper Respiratory Tract Infection, Repeated Lower Respiratory Tract Infection, Recurrent Tracheobronchitis, Recurrent Pneumonia)

Recurrent Respiratory Tract Infection
Body Parts: Whole Body
Medical Subjects: Children's Health Respiratory System

Whis Is Recurrent Respiratory Tract Infection?

Recurrent respiratory tract infection in children refers to the frequent occurrence of upper and lower respiratory tract infections within one year, which is beyond the normal range.

Repeated respiratory tract infections are also known as repeated colds, repeated upper respiratory tract infections, repeated lower respiratory tract infections, repeated tracheobronchitis, repeated pneumonia, and so on.

According to the age, potential cause and location, the repeated respiratory tract infections were divided into:

  • Repeated upper respiratory tract infection
  • Repeated lower respiratory tract infection
  • Repeated tracheobronchitis
  • Repeated pneumonia

However, there is no clear conclusion on the incidence frequency clinically, and currently more criteria are adopted as follows:

  • The interval between the two infections was at least 7 days.
  • If the times of upper respiratory tract infection are not enough, the times of upper and lower respiratory tract infection can be added, and vice versa. However, if recurrent infection is mainly in the lower respiratory tract, it should be defined as recurrent lower respiratory tract infection.
  • The determination must be continuously observed/counted for 1 year.
  • Repeated pneumonia refers to repeated pneumonia ≥ 2 times in one year. Pneumonia must be confirmed by lung signs and imaging. Pneumonia signs and imaging changes should completely disappear during the two pneumonia diagnoses.

Whis Is The Cause Of Recurrent Respiratory Tract Infection?

The external cause is the invasion and infection of various pathogenic microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses widely existing in nature, and the most important one is the internal cause: Children's self-resistance is poor, and their susceptibility to infection is increased.

  • Children's immune system function is not yet mature, and the fighting capacity with the invading pathogen is insufficient.
  • The respiratory tract anatomical structure and tissue function of children are not yet mature, and their ability to remove the adhesion and colonization of pathogens is insufficient.
  • Pollution of living environment for children, such as passive smoking, humidity, mites, dust, smog and other air pollution, rapid climate change and other factors can seriously damage the structure and function of respiratory epithelial cells.
  • Bad living habits, such as insufficient sleep, picky eating, snacks, partial eating, malnutrition caused by long-term poor appetite and other nutritional diseases, further damage to tissues and organs and immune ability.
  • Genetic factors, the existing research found that RRTIs have a certain genetic tendency.
  • Other factors, such as premature infants, low birth weight infants, infants who lack breastfeeding, and patients who are accompanied with anatomical malformations of respiratory tract, congenital immune deficiency and other basic diseases.

Who are the common people with recurrent respiratory tract infection?

It mainly occurs in children, and preschoolers are a high-risk population.


Whis Is The Symptoms Of Recurrent Respiratory Tract Infection?

Clinical manifestations include systemic symptoms and respiratory symptoms. Systemic symptoms usually include fever, weakness, poor appetite and poor spirit.

Local symptoms vary according to the infected site, and mainly include the following aspects:

  • Nasal-sinus infections are dominated by nasal obstruction, viscous or purulent or clear water-like nasal discharge, facial pain or headache with or without fever.
  • Middle ear infection is mainly manifested as persistent ear pain and tympanic effusion. Infants often have high fever, crying and gastrointestinal reactions. Children often have the symptoms of covering and dragging their ears.
  • Tonsil infection is an acute disease with severe local and systemic symptoms. Throat swelling and pain, dysphagia, and congestion, swelling or suppuration of tonsil can be seen, which is often accompanied by swelling of mandibular and cervical lymph nodes.
  • Throat infection generally has mild systemic symptoms and obvious local symptoms. The pharynx is dry, hot, and foreign body feels, and hoarse voice and cough (like a dog barking) may appear in the progression. In severe cases, dyspnea and airway obstruction may occur quickly, making it one of the common critical emergencies in pediatrics.
  • Tracheobronchial pneumonia is characterized by cough, expectoration, tachypnea and even dyspnea.

How To Check For Recurrent Respiratory Tract Infection?

The disease has no specific diagnostic indication and can be initially diagnosed based on a history of recurrent respiratory infections.

Further examination is needed to find the cause and pathogen. According to the specific situation, the examinations include routine blood test, C-reactive protein, procalcitonin, etiology detection, bacterial culture and other definite pathogen, as well as immunological examination, chest X-ray, otoscope, nasal endoscope, laryngoscope and even fibrobronchoscopy to find the possible cause and underlying disease.


How To Prevent Recurrent Respiratory Tract Infection?

  • The comprehensive treatment is emphasized for repeated respiratory tract infection. After the condition is stable, we need to strengthen the exercise, enhance the physique, improve self-immunity and reduce the chance of re-infection.
  • Pay attention to form a good living rules and eating habits.
  • Eat properly and maintain a balanced diet.
  • Avoid staying in crowded areas and contacting patients with respiratory tract infection.
  • The living environment should be kept clean and ventilated to avoid exposure to second-hand smoke.
  • Get your vaccinations on time.

How To Treat Recurrent Respiratory Tract Infection?

  • We also need to look for the etiology and target the treatments for basic diseases, such as removal of foreign bodies, surgical resection of tracheobronchial lung malformations, and the use of targeted immunomodulators to treat primary immunodeficiency disease.
  • Anti-infective therapy: It advocates empirical selection of anti-infective drugs on an evidence-based basis and targeted medication based on the results of pathogen tests and drug sensitivity tests. Highly suspected viral infections do not abuse antibiotics.
  • Symptomatic treatment: The expectorant, antiasthmatic and antitussive drugs, and aerosol treatment were correctly selected and applied according to the different ages and conditions.
  • Properly carry out vaccination.

What Is The Prognosis Of Repeated Respiratory Tract Infections?

Prognosis depends on the specific etiology, and most children will gradually improve with age.

Very few children with low immunity or defects die from severe pneumonia, which is currently one of the leading causes of death among children under 5 years of age in China. The survivors may have chronic airway diseases, which will seriously affect the quality of life of children.

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