Upper Respiratory Infection, Adult

ExitCare ImageAn upper respiratory infection (URI) is also known as the common cold. It is often caused by a type of germ (virus). Colds are easily spread (contagious). You can pass it to others by kissing, coughing, sneezing, or drinking out of the same glass. Usually, you get better in 1 or 2 weeks.


  • Only take medicine as told by your doctor.

  • Use a warm mist humidifier or breathe in steam from a hot shower.

  • Drink enough water and fluids to keep your pee (urine) clear or pale yellow.

  • Get plenty of rest.

  • Return to work when your temperature is back to normal or as told by your doctor. You may use a face mask and wash your hands to stop your cold from spreading.


  • After the first few days, you feel you are getting worse.

  • You have questions about your medicine.

  • You have chills, shortness of breath, or brown or red spit (mucus).

  • You have yellow or brown snot (nasal discharge) or pain in the face, especially when you bend forward.

  • You have a fever, puffy (swollen) neck, pain when you swallow, or white spots in the back of your throat.

  • You have a bad headache, ear pain, sinus pain, or chest pain.

  • You have a high-pitched whistling sound when you breathe in and out (wheezing).

  • You have a lasting cough or cough up blood.

  • You have sore muscles or a stiff neck.


  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.