Acute respiratory infections in adults in the practice of primary care physician

J.E. Vasquez Abanto, A.E. Vasquez Abanto


Acute respiratory infections (ARI) are the most common infectious diseases affecting all age groups, but primarily children under 5 years, adults older than 65 years or people with risk factors and serious chronic processes that increase the risk of complications and severe forms of the disease. According to the WHO, in its Bulletin N°310 dated May 2014, infections of the lower respiratory tract were one of the 10 causes of death in the world in 2012. In the U.S., the rate of death from influenza and its complications averages 20 thousand people annually, and the direct costs of treatment of patients with influenza is 1–3 billion dollars, indirect — 10–15 billion a year. In Ukraine, every year ARI hurts 10–14 million individuals, accounting for 25–30 % of the total and approximately 75–90 % of infections in the country. Diseases caused by influenza viruses are not more than 8 %. During periods of epidemic rise (in the winter, the peak is mainly observed in February), this figure rises to 25 %. During the epidemic season 2014–2015, ARI affected 3 million 700 thousand people, which was 9.1 % of the total population. The economic damage from the flu is around 400 millions UAH a year. Losses only from a single case of influenza in the country are estimated at the equivalent of $100 (including the costs of temporary incapacity for work, expenses for treatment of complications and the organization of anti-epidemic measures). In acute rhinosinusitis (ARI and ­others), individual and epidemiological approaches of the physician should be combined within his “medical science and professional art”. After conducting a differential diagnosis, the physician decides on the issues related to the admission of the patient to the hospital, consultation to the otolaryngologist, to the outpatient examination (laboratory and instrumental), etc. On the basis of such voluminous and necessary information and recommended base today, “independence and professional freedom of the doctor” still remains crucial.


influenza (flu); cold; acute respiratory infectious di­seases; sick leave; epidemic


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