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Respiratory Tract Infections (RTI)

RTIs are thought to be one of the main reasons why people visit their Doctor or pharmacist. The common cold is the most widespread RTI.


Learn about upper respiratory tract infection is contagious caused by bacteria and viruses such as flu, tonsillitis, sinusitis, cough, and the common cold.

What are RTIs

Respiratory tract infection refers to any of a number of infectious diseases involving the respiratory tract. They're usually caused by viruses, but can be caused by bacteria. RTIs are thought to be one of the main reasons why people visit their GP or pharmacist. 

Blocked Nose

Exposure to large amounts of pollutants or irritants can lead to an increased production of mucus secretions from the ear, nose & throat (ENT). This is known as catarrh and, if severe, can lead to congestion of the nasal passages (as with a ‘blocked nose’).

Mucus can become infected, resulting in sinusitis and ear or throat infections. Many children suffer from repeated ear infections, known as ‘glue ear’, or repeated bouts of tonsillitis.

If you are suffering from a cold and your nose is running constantly, the mucous membranes will become swollen and inflamed leading to a blocked nose or nasal congestion. When inflammation occurs, mucous secretion becomes viscous and production is increased, causing blockage. 


Coughs are a very common symptom of Respiratory tract disorders. It must however, be remembered that a cough is only a symptom.

Technically, one should not treat a cough, but should consider and try to correct the underlying problem causing the cough.


Flu is caused by a specific group of viruses known as the influenza virus whereas colds can be caused by over 200 viruses.

There are a number of different strains of flu, such as swine flu and avian flu (also known as bird flu), with more forming as the virus mutates. This is why people continue to come down with the flu each year and that there is the need to renew the flu vaccination each winter.

The flu virus can be spread from one person to the next from day one and before symptoms appear. Hence, it is possible to spread the flu before one notices symptoms.


Sinuses are connected to the nasal passages by a single small and narrow opening. And herein lies the problem. When you get a cold, or if you suffer from nasal allergies, the tissues of the nasal passages, known as mucous membranes, become inflamed and swollen leading to a blocked nose. Furthermore, the opening to the sinuses becomes blocked.

Excessive mucus production caused by an acute URTI can cause a blockage to the drainage of the sinus cavity.

In this situation, mucus builds up within the sinus, leading to a build up of pressure within the cavity.

Furthermore, this stagnant pool of mucus will have a great tendency to become infected, further exacerbating the situation.

Sore throat

Sore throats are a symptom commonly associated with infections such as the cold or the flu. They can be triggered by a weakened immune system, but they can also be caused by extenuating illnesses such as hay fever or self-inflicted pollutants like cigarette smoke.

The common cold

The common cold (also known as nasopharyngitis, rhinopharyngitis, acute coryza,head cold, or simply a cold) is a group of symptoms in the upper respiratory tract caused by a large number of different viruses. Although more than 200 viruses can cause the common cold, the perpetrator is usually the rhinovirus.

A cold begins when a cold virus attaches to the lining of your nose or throat. Your immune system sends white blood cells out to attack this germ. Your nose and throat get inflamed and produce a lot of mucus.

Viral particles often enter the body, but most of the time, do not give any trouble whatsoever, as the cells in the Immune system dispose of the viruses before illness sets in. When the Immune system is weakened however, the body will not be able to clear the viral particles effectively, allowing the viral invasion to spread. A viral infection then results.


Tonsillitis – an infection of the tonsils - can be very painful, particularly when swallowing.  When it occurs, glands in the throat are usually swollen as well.  Such an infection can develop when the immune system is not as effective as it should.  

On the other hand, chronic tonsillitis weakens the immune system, making us more susceptible to infection.  When the adenoid gets infected, it swells, becomes painful and can obstruct the upper airways causing congestion and snoring.

How can Echinaforce Help

Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea) is probably the most famous of all the herbs used for immune function. The most important thing to understand with Echinaforce is that it improves the efficiency of the immune system. This is very different from the commonly held belief that it stimulates the immune system.

Most people do not need their immune system stimulated; often, all that is needed is for the immune system to work more effectively. 

Scientists working in the field of phytotherapy now refer to Echinacea as an immunomodulator rather than an immunostimulant.

Echinaforce improves the way the immune system recognises pathogens. Immune system cells respond more rapidly, increasing the chances that the pathogen will be dealt with before it can damage the body. As pathogen recognition is improved, there is less likelihood that healthy cells will be attacked in error.

With the first signs of tickling in the throat, muscle aches, chills, cough or congestion, Echinaforce® Extra comes to the rescue for fast relief. The active components in Echinaforce Extra are clinically proven to inhibit the replication of infectious agents and triple the rate of phagocytosis - the body’s ‘first defense’. 

A.Vogel Echinaforce® Extra-Strength Hot Drink is a natural and effective combination of Echinacea purpurea and Elderberry designed to help combat common cold and flu symptoms and relieve upper respiratory tract infections. 

For the relief of mild cold and flu symptoms use Echinaforce® Original Formula:
Drops are Excellent for people with digestive problems, as they do not need to be digested before the active ingredients are released. Tablets are also available for those who find tablets more convenient. 

Echinaforce® Junior is recommended for children. It has a pleasant, natural orange flavour. The tablets are tooth friendly and the natural lactose-free sweetness will not affect diabetics. 

What do you think?

Have you found what you read useful? If so, I would love if you would leave your comment below. Thanks Sonia Chartier

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