Infection can occur by inhaling these droplets or by touching the nose or mouth with something exposed to the virus (e.g., hand or eating utensil). Common symptoms of respiratory infections include runny nose, sore throat, coughing, fever, and difficulty breathing.
Most respiratory infections of the upper respiratory tract are not fatal, but some are more serious than others. For instance, some infections that start in the upper tract can spread into the lower tract, causing further complications. Upper respiratory infections are one of the top 3 diagnoses for outpatient visits. SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19, can migrate to infect the lower respiratory tract and cause pneumonia. Since the symptoms between different infections are often the same, testing for the specific respiratory pathogen involved is needed to determine the next step to take.
While most respiratory infections have no formal treatment options, the pathogen responsible for the infection and the severity of the infection will dictate whether further action is necessary.
GED now offers a test that screens for the following 10 pathogens:
- Coronavirus 229E/NL63
- Coronavirus OC43/HKUI
- Sarbeco virus
- Adenovirus A/B/C/D/E
- Enterovirus A/B/C
- Influenza A
- Influenza B
- Rhinovirus A/B