Upper respiratory tract infections: Considerations in adolescent and adult athletes
- Carrie A Jaworski, MD, FAAFP, FACSM
Carrie A Jaworski, MD, FAAFP, FACSM
- Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine
- Director, Division of Primary Care Sports Medicine
- University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine
- David B Pyne, PhD, FACSM
David B Pyne, PhD, FACSM
- Professor of Physiology
- Australian Institute of Sport
- Section Editor
- Francis G O'Connor, MD, MPH, FACSM
Francis G O'Connor, MD, MPH, FACSM
- Section Editor — Sports-Related Injuries; Symptom Assessment and Physical Examination; Medical Issues Related to Sports and Exercise
- Professor of Military and Emergency Medicine
- Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) are common in athletes. The majority are self-limited viral infections. The evaluation and treatment of athletes with URTIs is typically the same as in the general population. However, there are specific considerations for medication choices in athletes. Additionally, clinicians may be asked to determine when an athlete can return to play or competition.
This topic will discuss the epidemiology, evaluation, and specific medication considerations in athletes with URTI. It will also discuss how to determine when an athlete can return to play after URTI.
For the purposes of this topic, "athlete" refers to adolescents and young adults who participate in both recreational and competitive sports.
The term "upper respiratory tract infection" may be used to describe a variety of infections. For the purposes of this topic, URTIs include:
●The common cold (see "The common cold in adults: Diagnosis and clinical features" and "The common cold in adults: Treatment and prevention" and "The common cold in children: Clinical features and diagnosis" and "The common cold in children: Management and prevention")
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- Risk factors
- Relationship to exercise
- Effect on competition performance
- MEDICATION CONSIDERATIONS
- Medications used for symptom relief
- Medication and competition
- CLEARANCE FOR SPORTS
- General participation
- - Criteria
- - Transition back to play
- Return to competition
- Special circumstances
- - Infectious mononucleosis
- - Underlying respiratory conditions
- - SCUBA diving
- Preventing spread of infection
- - General measures
- - Influenza
- - Pertussis
- Overtraining syndrome
- SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS