Respiratory Illnesses

Respiratory illnesses can affect all of us at various points in our lives, causing discomfort and, in some cases, serious health issues.

These conditions, which include the common cold & flu, bronchitis, and strep throat, are prevalent and often highly contagious. Understanding these illnesses, their symptoms, and how they spread is the first step toward better health management and recovery.

Cold & Flu

The common cold and flu, also known as influenza, are contagious viral infections affecting the respiratory tract.

Colds typically cause a runny nose, congestion, sneezing, and a mild cough. Conversely, the flu tends to be more severe and can lead to high fever, body aches, chills, and fatigue.

Both illnesses are spread through droplets in the air from coughing or sneezing or by touching a contaminated surface. Prevention includes regular hand washing, avoiding close contact with sick individuals, and getting the flu vaccine annually.


Bronchitis is an inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes, which carry air to and from the lungs. The primary symptom is a hacking cough, which may produce clear, white, yellowish-gray, or green mucus. Other symptoms can include shortness of breath, wheezing, fatigue, mild fever, and chest discomfort.

A viral infection often causes acute bronchitis and tends to improve within a few days without lasting effects, though the cough can linger for weeks.

Chronic bronchitis, a more serious condition, is a constant irritation or inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes, often due to smoking.

Strep Throat

Strep throat is a bacterial infection caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria. Pain and inflammation in the throat, difficulty swallowing, red and swollen tonsils, tender or swollen lymph nodes in the neck, fever, and sudden onset of a sore throat characterize it.

Some people, particularly children, may also experience a rash, body aches, nausea, and vomiting. Strep throat is highly contagious and can spread through airborne droplets when someone with the infection coughs or sneezes.

It's important to seek medical attention if you suspect strep throat, as untreated strep can lead to serious complications such as rheumatic fever or kidney inflammation.

Respiratory Viruses

A virus is a tiny germ that can make you sick. Imagine it as a small little bug that you can't see without a microscope. Viruses can cause many different types of illnesses, from the common cold to more serious ones like the flu or COVID-19.

Respiratory illnesses are diseases that affect your lungs and breathing. They can make breathing hard for you and cause symptoms like coughing, sneezing, and tiredness. Viruses often cause these illnesses.

Understanding Different Types of Viruses

There is a wide range of different types of viruses that can be caught. It is important to understand each common type of virus, what the symptoms are, how it spreads, and how it is treated. If you think you have a virus, please come into Carolina Urgent Care for treatment.
Learn More About Respiratory Viruses

Respiratory Infections

We understand the concern and discomfort that comes with respiratory infections, which can range from mild conditions like the common cold to more severe diseases like pneumonia or COVID-19. 

It's crucial to recognize the symptoms, understand how these infections spread, and know your treatment options. This knowledge can help you take charge of your health and seek appropriate medical help when needed.

Respiratory infections primarily affect your lungs, throat, sinuses, or nose. These are some of the most common types:

  • Influenza (Flu): This is a viral infection that attacks your respiratory system and is most common in the winter months.
  • Common Cold: Generally milder than the flu, the common cold can cause a runny nose, sore throat, and mild headache.
  • Pneumonia: This can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi, and it inflames the air sacs in one or both lungs.
  • Bronchitis: This is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes that carry air to your lungs.
  • Tuberculosis: This potentially serious bacterial infection primarily affects the lungs.
  • COVID-19: A novel coronavirus disease that emerged in 2019, COVID-19 has since spread globally, causing severe respiratory illness in some patients.
Learn More About Respiratory Infections


Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It can lead to a range of symptoms, such as wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. 

Our experienced healthcare providers are here to help you manage your asthma and breathe easily. At Caroline Urgent Care, we offer comprehensive care and support to patients of all ages, ensuring that you have the tools and resources to manage your condition effectively.

Learn More About Asthma

Treatment for Respiratory Infections in Chapel Hill & Durham, NC

In conclusion, respiratory illnesses can cause discomfort and potentially serious health issues. Understanding these illnesses, their symptoms, and how they spread is crucial for better health management and recovery.

Whether it's the common cold & flu, bronchitis, strep throat, or other respiratory infections, Carolina Urgent Care is here to provide the necessary treatment and support.

Don’t hesitate to contact us. You can visit our clinics in Chapel Hill, Durham, or schedule an appointment online.

1840 M.L.K. Jr Blvd,
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
5234 N Roxboro St
Durham, NC, 27712

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