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Respiratory infection treatment, diagnosis & prescriptions

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What is a respiratory infection?

A respiratory infection can affect any part of the respiratory system (spanning from your sinuses to your lungs). Upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) are commonly caused by viruses that you contract through the air, or through physical contact with a virus. Lower respiratory tract infections (LRTI) are more often caused by bacterial infections.

Here are some common types of respiratory infections, and the areas they affect:

Infections of the upper respiratory tract:

Rhinitis – Infection of the nasal cavity
Sinusitis – Infection of the sinuses
Nasopharyngitis – Infection of the areas at the back of the throat (nares, pharynx, hypopharynx, uvula, and tonsils)
Epiglottitis – Infection of the flap that prevents food and liquids from entering the lungs (epiglottis)
Laryngitis – Infection of the voice box (larynx)

Infections of the lower respiratory tract:

Tracheitis – Infection of the windpipe (trachea)
Pneumonia – infection of the lungs
Bronchitis – infection of the bronchial tubes

What are the symptoms of a respiratory infection?

Symptoms of a respiratory infection include:

  • Congestion
  • Cough
  • Runny/stuffy nose
  • Slight body aches
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath

To prevent getting a respiratory infection:

  • Reduce contact with others who are showing symptoms of infection
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water and use hand sanitizer when you don’t have immediate access to soap or water
  • Get the appropriate vaccinations
How can I treat a respiratory infection?

For lower respiratory tract infections, antibiotics are typically prescribed. In some cases, your doctor may also choose to complement the antibiotic with steroids to reduce inflammation associated with the infection.

In the case of upper respiratory infections, antibiotics are typically not required, as they have no effect against viruses. But there are ways to relieve discomfort:

  • Stay hydrated and drink plenty of fluids
  • Ensure you get enough rest
  • Take pain relievers for fever, sore throat, and headache
  • Use decongestants or nasal sprays to relieve congestion

Meet our doctors

Our physicians are Canadian licensed and practice family or emergency medicine right here in Canada.

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Dr. Shafik Dharamshi

Dr. Shafik Dharamshi

ER Physician, Toronto

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Dr. Michael Verbora

Dr. Michael Verbora

Family Physician, Toronto

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Dr. Marni Brooks

Dr. Marni Brooks

Family Physician, Toronto

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Dr. Aleksandra Ferenc

Dr. Aleksandra Ferenc

Family Physician, Mississauga

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Dr. Donald Ginsberg

Dr. Donald Ginsberg

Family Physician, Montreal

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Dr. Paul Medve

Dr. Paul Medve

ER Physician, Simcoe

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Dr. Eric Fonberg

Dr. Eric Fonberg

Family & ER Physician, Toronto

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Dr. Peter Iracleous

Dr. Peter Iracleous

ER Physician, Toronto

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Dr. Mark D’Souza

Dr. Mark D’Souza

ER Physician, Toronto

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Dr. Tristan Snider

Dr. Tristan Snider

ER Physician, Toronto

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What is Maple?

With Maple, you can start consulting with a doctor about your symptoms in a matter of minutes. We’re a healthcare app for fast, convenient 24/7 access to Canadian doctors.

You simply log in, tap a button to request a consultation, and we’ll immediately connect you to a doctor via live chat or video.

Our doctors can assess symptoms, and provide treatment, including prescriptions as necessary.

You can visit our How it Works page to learn more.

Can a doctor treat a respiratory infection on Maple?

In most cases, our doctors can diagnose your respiratory infection online by asking about your symptoms.

If the doctor suspects you have a bacterial infection, they may prescribe antibiotics to help you treat that as well.

Doctors can also write sick notes for your respiratory infection in the case you need to be excused from work, school, or other situations.

Can I get a prescription on Maple?

Yes, our physicians can prescribe medications online during your consultation. Once you accept a prescription, you’ll have the option to pick it up from any pharmacy or we’ll deliver it right to your door at no additional cost.

You can visit our How it Works page to learn more.

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Legitimate and just as described, with fabulous doctors. Totally fills the late-night worry gap!

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Not having to endure a long wait at a walk in clinic is fabulous. Especially since I have twin pre-schoolers to contend with.

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The service is so quick and professional and saves hours spent in a walk-in-clinic. This is a game changer for busy moms and I recommend it to everyone!

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Instead of my husband having to drag both kids to the hospital or walk in alone he was able to see a doctor right away and get a prescription faxed to our local pharmacy.

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Our family has used this service twice so far and it has been amazing. Both doctors were friendly, compassionate and you never feel rushed.

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Was concerned I wouldn’t be able to see a doctor without an appointment. I installed the Maple app, spoke to a doctor and had my prescription in under 30 min.

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I used Maple for the first time today. It was quick and easy, took less than ten minutes including connecting time and the doctor was professional and friendly. 

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LOVE This service. Not only do you have a doctor within seconds but they are professional and knowledgable.

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Absolutely blown away. It was SO easy to use. No wait time getting connected with a doctor. Getting the prescription faxed to the pharmacy made it a seamless process.

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