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Upper Respiratory Infection Treatment

The human respiratory tract is the pathway for oxygen to reach the lungs and is comprised of two sections: upper and lower. The upper tract includes the nose, sinuses, pharynx/throat, and larynx/voice box, and the lower tract consists of the lungs and windpipe.

An upper respiratory infection (URI), or the “common cold,” can leave people missing work or school if untreated.


While a URI is not a disease or deadly, it is important to visit a Midwest Express Clinic urgent care if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Congestion in the nose
  • Scratchy or sore throat
  • Excessive sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Earaches
  • Fever

Though these symptoms are also closely related to those of the influenza virus, the biggest difference is that the flu usually results in an achy body, sore muscles, and a higher grade fever.

Upper respiratory infection FAQs

  • How long does an URI last?

    Without treatment, an upper respiratory infection can last up to 10 days. If it’s not improving after 7-10 days, see the medical practitioners at Midwest Express Clinic for treatment and to rule out more serious conditions.

  • What if I don’t seek medical care for my upper respiratory infection?

    If a URI goes untreated, the symptoms may worsen, causing bacterial sinusitis, acute otitis media or bacterial pharyngitis.

  • What treatment is available?

    When inflammation is involved, our medical practitioners may prescribe an anti-inflammatory drug to reduce the amount of inflammation in the upper airways. Antibiotics may be prescribed as well if noticeable bacteria have formed.

  • Is this infection contagious?

    Yes! It can be spread through coughs or sneezes, saliva from sharing drinks, touching contaminated surfaces or skin-to-skin contact.

  • I want to seek treatment, but am worried I cannot afford to visit the clinic. What should I do?

    We recommend checking with your health insurance provider. Generally, most plans will cover much of your visit, with you responsible for a copay. For a full list of insurance plans Midwest Express accepts, click here. If you do not have health insurance, please note that we offer a discounted self-pay pricing for our patients. Call ahead and ask the receptionist for details. Medicaid is also accepted.

    If over-the-counter medications are not offering relief for your upper respiratory infection/cold, visit a Midwest Express Clinic location.

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