Who is at Risk for Acute Respiratory Infection?

Safetynet Respiratory Infection

It’s almost impossible to avoid viruses and bacteria, but certain risk factors increase your chances of developing an acute respiratory infection.

The immune systems of children and older adults are more prone to being affected by viruses.

Children are especially at risk because of their constant contact with other kids who could be virus carriers. Children often don’t wash their hands regularly. They are also more likely to rub their eyes and put their fingers in their mouths, resulting in the spread of viruses.

 Anyone whose immune system might be weakened by another disease is at risk. 

Signs and Symptoms

The early symptoms of acute respiratory infection usually appear in the nose and upper lungs. Other symptoms include:

  • congestion, either in the nasal sinuses or lungs
  • runny nose
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • body aches
  • fatigue

If the disease advances, there may be a high fever and chills. Other serious symptoms are

  • difficulty breathing
  • dizziness
  • low blood oxygen level
  • loss of consciousness


Even though most causes of acute respiratory infection are not treatable, prevention is the best method to ward off harmful respiratory infections. Let’s practice good hygiene as the following:

  • Wash hands frequently, especially after having been in a public place
  • Always sneeze into one’s arm of the shirt or in a tissue. Although this may not ease one’s symptoms, it will prevent the spreading of infectious diseases
  • Avoid touching one’s face, especially eyes and mouth, to prevent introducing germs into one’s system

* All content published is for general information purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice.