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A 46-year-old female asked:

is bronchitis bacterial or viral?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Scott Diede
A Verified Doctoranswered
A US doctor answeredLearn more
Usually viral: Acute bronchitis is usually caused by viruses, typically the same viruses that cause colds and influenza. The most common cause of chronic bronchitis is smoking cigarettes. Air pollution and dust or toxic gases in the environment or workplace also can contribute to the condition. Antibiotics as a whole are overprescribed in bronchitis, though sometimes it is warranted.
Dr. Robert Binford
Thoracic Surgery 38 years experience
Can be both: Bronchitis can be either acute or chronic. Chronic bronchitis is often caused by chronic irritants like tobacco smoke. Acute bronchitis is most often caused by a viral infection but about 10% of the time it can be caused by a bacterial infection.

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A 21-year-old member asked:

How are bacterial pneumonias different from viral pneumonias?

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Carlo Hatem
Pulmonary Critical Care 25 years experience
Cause and treatment: The cause is different. Viruses are much smaller than bacteria, harder to identify, and are treated with an entirely different kind of medications. Treatment for one does not work for the other.
A 21-year-old member asked:

Can insect repellant reduce my chances of getting infected by bacteria transmitted from a bite?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ralph Morgan Lewis
Family Medicine 38 years experience
Probably not: Insect repellants are designed to prevent your being bitten by insects; they are not antibiotics or antiseptics. If you've been bitten & the site is getting redder, hurting more, swelling, producing pus, sending red streaks up the arm/leg/etc, see your doc for evaluation and treatment.
A 37-year-old member asked:

How do doctors know if you have viral or bacterial bronchitis?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Sue Ferranti
Internal Medicine 29 years experience
Severity of sxs : Both viral and bacterial bronchitis have similar symptoms but bacterial bronchitis usually has a higher fever, more congestion, etc but there is considerable overlap. Sometimes a sputum culture can be helpful in indentifying which bacteria are present. If there is only a low grade fever, it is usually viral.
A 34-year-old member asked:

How can doctors tell if you have viral or bacterial bronchitis?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Sue Ferranti
Internal Medicine 29 years experience
Evaluation...: The symptoms of bacterial bronchitis are usually a bit more severe as in higher fever, more severe cough, more body aches, etc but there is overlap. When in doubt, a sputum culture can be useful. Also, viral bronchitis will usually begin resolving in a few days without treatment so if you are feeling better in a few days w/o antibiotics, chances are it is viral and antibiotics will be ineffective.
Fort Worth, TX
A 25-year-old female asked:

Are there any over-the-counter treatments for bacterial vaginosis?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Wayne Ingram
Specializes in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Not effective: Many otc products that "promise to treat bacterial vaginosis" are not as effective as a rx from your gyn. The products just enhance the profitability of the company that makes them and can do harm with the irritating ingredients they contain.

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Last updated Apr 21, 2020

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