Many children have between six to eight colds, or upper respiratory infections, each year and symptoms can be uncomfortable or lead to complications. If you have an upper respiratory infection, board-certified internal medicine physician Dr. Rudy Juburi and his team can ease symptoms and prevent complications at Rudy Juburi, MD, in Bryans Road, Maryland, and Alexandria, Virginia. Call for an appointment today, schedule online, or simply walk in.

Upper Respiratory Infection Q & A

What are upper respiratory infections?

An upper respiratory infection, also known as the common cold, is an illness caused by one of more than 200 different viruses. Colds are spread through contact with an infected person when they cough, rub their nose, sneeze, or touch the same surface as you.

Upper respiratory infections often go away on their own over time. But colds sometimes can lead to complications, such as ear, throat, sinus infections, or even pneumonia if left untreated.

What are the symptoms of upper respiratory infections?

With an upper respiratory infection, you might experience the following symptoms:

  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Sneezing
  • Watery or itchy eyes
  • Headaches
  • Other aches and pains
  • Tiredness

Dr. Juburi reviews your medical history and symptoms and checks your ears, chest, breathing, and throat to diagnose an upper respiratory infection or complications associated with it. He might order a strep test to rule out strep throat.

How are upper respiratory infections treated?

There’s no cure for upper respiratory infections, as your body usually recovers from a cold on its own over time. Antibiotics don’t work against colds and other viruses, but Dr. Juburi might recommend the following treatments:


Rest is often the best remedy for fighting a cold. You may need to take time off of work or school and avoid strenuous exercise until your body recovers.

Fluids and hydration

Staying hydrated is a crucial part of recovering from an upper respiratory infection. Drink plenty of water, juices, clear broths, or warm lemon water to avoid dehydration and enhance recovery.

Saline spray or drops

Saline sprays or drops help reduce cold-related congestion. Follow Dr. Juburi’s instructions when using these products.


Keep the air in your house moist with a humidifier to ease coughing and congestion. Be sure to keep the humidifier clean to prevent bacteria and mold growth.

Salt water gargling

Salt water gargling helps relieve a scratchy, sore throat. Mix 1/4-1/2 teaspoons of salt with 4-8 ounces of warm water and gargle the solution for about a minute.

Over-the-counter medicines

Dr. Juburi might recommend you take over-the-counter medications to ease symptoms of congestion, cough, and sore throat. He suggests something safe and appropriate based on the severity of symptoms and you or your child’s age.

While antibiotics don’t work against upper respiratory and other viral infections, Dr. Juburi can prescribe antibiotics for ear infections or strep throat that might occur with a cold.

If your cold symptoms are increasing in severity and you’d like to rule out complications and get fast relief, call Rudy Juburi, MD to book an appointment, schedule online, or simply walk in.