Recently, acute respiratory diseases in China have continued to rise, and respiratory diseases have entered a period of high incidence.

Mi Feng, spokesman for the National Health Commission, said a few days ago that monitoring shows that the recent respiratory tract infectious diseases are mainly influenza, in addition to rhinovirus, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, respiratory syncytial virus, adenovirus, etc., all of which are caused by known epidemic pathogens.

The results of multi-source surveillance showed that the main pathogens of recent respiratory tract infectious diseases were different in different age groups:

People aged 1~4 years old are mainly influenza and rhinovirus;

People aged 5~14 years old are mainly influenza, mycoplasma, and adenovirus;

People aged 15-59 years old are mainly influenza virus, rhinovirus, and new coronavirus;

Influenza viruses, human metapneumoviruses and common coronaviruses are predominantly used in people aged 60 years and older.

Fever, cough, runny nose

What exactly causes it?

What happens when I need to go to the hospital immediately?

How to prevent respiratory diseases on a daily basis?

Image source: Healthy China

A flu

It is a seasonal epidemic every year and is highly contagious.

Symptoms: Fever, muscle aches and headaches, but also mild respiratory symptoms such as cough, runny nose, sore throat, etc.

Incubation period: 1~3 days, 1~7 days after the onset of the disease, the most contagious 2~3 days after the onset of the disease.

Mode of transmission: Mainly airborne droplets, but also indirectly through items contaminated with the virus.

Note: If there is persistent high fever, shortness of breath, aggravation of underlying diseases, etc., you should go to the hospital for medical treatment in time. In the early stages, especially within 48 hours of onset, the use of anti-influenza virus drugs can significantly reduce the incidence of severe influenza disease and death.


Rhinovirus infection is the main causative agent of the common cold, and nearly half of all acute respiratory infections are caused.

People are generally susceptible to rhinovirus and are more likely to occur in children.

Symptoms: runny nose, sneezing, pharyngeal discomfort, nasal congestion, cough, sore throat, hoarseness, no or slightly increased body temperature, and easy complications such as sinusitis and otitis media. It can be mixed with children's enterovirus, Mycophelium pneumoniae and other epidemic infections.

Incubation period: 12 hours to 5 days, generally 48 hours.

Mode of transmission: It can be transmitted through direct contact and droplets, or indirectly through hands and objects contaminated with nasal and throat secretions.

Note: To date, there is no effective vaccine to prevent rhinovirus infection.

Mycoplasma pneumoniae

It is the smallest microorganism in the world that is between bacteria and viruses and is known to survive on its own.

Symptoms: The most prominent manifestation is a more intense irritating dry cough; The fever is mostly low-grade fever, and a small number of children have high fever, and persistent high fever often indicates severe illness. It can be accompanied by headache, runny nose, sore throat, earache, etc. In severe cases, there may also be serious consequences such as pneumonia, hepatitis, nephritis, myocarditis, meningitis, etc., which may be fatal if not treated in time.

Incubation period: 1~3 weeks, infective from the incubation period to several weeks after the symptoms are relieved.

Mode of transmission: It is mainly transmitted through respiratory droplets, and can carry pathogens in the secretions of coughing, sneezing, and runny nose. Mycoplasma pneumoniae infected patients and asymptomatic infections are the main sources of infection.

Note: Antibiotics such as penicillin and cephalosporin are completely ineffective against Mycoplasma pneumoniae and should not be used blindly. If you have persistent high fever, severe cough, difficulty breathing, poor spirits, difficulty eating or even dehydration, you need to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Respiratory syncytial virus

An RNA virus with the dominant strain mutating every year and making it susceptible to repeated infections.

The most important viral pathogen causing acute lower respiratory tract infections in children under 5 years of age worldwide.

Symptoms: Mild symptoms and early symptoms of infection are similar to the common cold, with symptoms such as nasal congestion, cough, sneezing, runny nose, and low-grade fever. As the disease progresses, severe patients will experience dyspnea or shortness of breath, wheezing, irritability, loss of appetite, etc., and even complicated by respiratory failure and heart failure.

Incubation period: generally 2-8 days, usually 4-6 days after infection with the virus.

Mode of transmission: It is highly contagious, mainly through coughing and droplets and close contact (such as touching and kissing an infected person), and can survive for several hours outside the body such as contaminated tabletops and toys.

Note: People of all ages are susceptible to it and cannot be prevented by vaccine. The virus is self-limiting, and for children with normal immune development, mild infections can be cared for at home.


Common viruses that cause respiratory tract infections in children are mainly prevalent in winter and spring, and are prone to outbreaks in kindergartens and schools.

Symptoms: cough, nasal congestion and pharyngitis, accompanied by fever, chills, headache and muscle aches, etc., and clinical manifestations such as pharyngitis, pharyngeal conjunctival fever and pneumonia may also occur. Other types of adenovirus can cause gastroenteritis in infants and preschoolers, causing abdominal pain, diarrhea, and even intussusception.

Incubation period: generally 2 days to 21 days, an average of 3 days to 8 days. It is highly contagious, and it is more common in children under 5 years of age, especially in infants between 6 months and 2 years old.

Mode of transmission: Respiratory droplet transmission is the main mode of transmission of adenovirus, followed by contact transmission and fecal-oral transmission. If adenovirus contaminates a swimming pool, it can also be transmitted by contact or swallowing contaminated water, causing "pool fever" or "pink eye".

Note: Adenovirus infection is generally a self-limiting disease, and people with normal immunity can recover spontaneously in about 7 days. However, some immunocompromised patients, or those with severe adenovirus infection, need to be treated with antiviral drugs as prescribed.

How can I tell if I have a condition?

In general, you can tell if you have recovered from the flu by the symptoms, and if the symptoms go away, it means that the condition has improved. Seek medical attention if:

Body temperature ≥ 39°C for more than 24 hours;

The cough is worse and the amount of sputum is significantly increased;

dyspnea or chest pain;

cyanosis of the lips;

severe vomiting, diarrhoea, and dehydration;

altered mental status, unresponsiveness, lethargy, convulsions;

Significant aggravation of pre-existing underlying medical conditions.

In the winter season of high incidence of respiratory diseases,

how to eat and drink,

Able to boost your own immunity?

First of all, an important premise of a reasonable diet is food diversity, and the "Dietary Guidelines for Chinese Residents (2022)" proposes that adults should consume more than 12 kinds of food every day and more than 25 kinds of food per week, and try to mix them reasonably in three meals. Encouraging families to cook together can help diversify your diet.

Second, make sure you're getting enough high-quality protein. Try to choose foods that are high in protein, and use foods and cooking methods that are relatively low in fat. For example, steamed fish and shrimp, skimmed or low-fat milk, tenderloin, etc., as well as skinless poultry. In addition, the three meals are evenly distributed, and each meal achieves a protein intake of 25~30 grams, which is most conducive to the maintenance of our overall protein status.

Third, ensure the intake of fresh and sufficient vegetables and fruits. Quantitatively, you should eat a total of 300 to 500 grams of vegetables per day and ensure a variety of foods, especially some dark vegetables. For example, tomatoes, purple cabbage, green cauliflower, carrots, bell peppers, etc. In layman's terms, it means "having vegetables at every meal and eating fruits every day".

Fourth, drink plenty of water every day. Try to drink 1500,2000 to <>,<> ml of drinking water a day. Choose plain water, mineral water, and weak tea as much as possible, and do not choose all kinds of sugary drinks.

Finally, maintaining a healthy and reasonable weight is an important foundation for maintaining good immunity. It is necessary to achieve a balance between eating and moving, maintain good living habits, and maintain a regular work and rest time.

For patients with respiratory diseases,

How to eat to improve the condition?

If you have restricted feeding, or are unable to eat at all, or if you are able to eat, you have eaten significantly less than usual, such as 30% or even 50% less than usual, for two days, in this case, you should supplement oral nutritional supplements, including formulas for special medical purposes, and oral enteral nutrition preparations under the guidance of a medical professional.

At the same time, for some people with long-term nutritional deficiencies or long-term low body weight, especially some elderly people, special emphasis should be placed on high-quality protein supplementation. For long-term vegetarians, the intake of animal foods is low, in which case some protein supplements can be added specifically in addition to the aforementioned oral nutritional supplements.

If there is a disorder of intestinal flora, you should choose some probiotics and prebiotics under the guidance of a doctor or clinical dietitian to improve the intestinal microecology.

Finally, it is especially necessary to strengthen nutritional monitoring throughout the disease prevention and control process, including weight, food intake, water and electrolytes. For some elderly people, special attention should be paid to changes in body composition, such as muscle mass, as well as some metabolic indicators, such as blood sugar, blood lipids, liver and kidney function, etc.

In daily life,

How can I prevent infection?


Try to avoid going to crowded places;

Wear a mask when you go out,

Be careful to cover up when sneezing;

Pay attention to hand hygiene, do not touch indiscriminately, and wash hands frequently;

Personal protection should be done when visiting medical institutions,

Prevent cross-infection in the hospital.

Forward Reminders!