Schroeck et al reported criteria for appropriate therapy in a patient with a nonspecific upper respiratory tract infection (URTI). The authors are from VA Western New York Healthcare System, University of Buffalo, Erie County Medical Center and East Orange VA.

Criteria for the diagnosis of nonspecific upper respiratory tract infection:

(1) sore throat

(2) nasal symptoms

(3) cough

(4) absence of fever or other finding indicative of a bacterial infection


The patient should not be better diagnosed as having bronchitis, pharyngitis or sinusitis.


Often no additional testing is performed. Testing for influenza, Streptococcus Group A or viral pathogens may be performed.


Appropriate therapy:

(1) symptom relief

(2) no antibiotics

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