A 29-year-old female asked:
how do you know if you have bacteria or viral bronchitis?
1 doctor answer • 2 doctors weighed in
Pulmonary Critical Care 31 years experience
You generally don't: 1st, more than 95% of "bronchitis" is viral. Secondly the other 5% probably resolve spontaneously without any therapy. It really does not matter unless you are otherwise chronically ill from congestive heart failure, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Bronchitis is just a term we throw around for people who have a new cough, and it is not really that well defined.
2.9k viewsReviewed >2 years ago
A 45-year-old member asked:
Bacterial or viral bronchitis, how can I tell?
1 doctor answer • 1 doctor weighed in
Internal Medicine 29 years experience
Severity....: Typically, a bacterial bronchitis will give you a higher fever, discolored sputum, malaise, etc. The symptoms with a viral infection tend to be less severe without a fever, clearer sputum, etc. However, there is overlap in symptoms so if you are not sure, you should see your doctor so the infection can be diagnosed and treated. Both can produce a significant and severe cough.
4.8k viewsAnswered >2 years ago
Salt Lake City, UT
A 34-year-old female asked:
How do you know difference between bacterial or viral bronchitis?
2 doctor answers • 2 doctors weighed in
Internal Medicine 61 years experience
Bronchitis: Viral upper respiratory tract infections usually run their course in 7to10 days. If symptoms of bronchitis (coughing up discolored sputum with or without wheezing), persist longer than that,then one can presume bacterial bronchitis and antibiotics are then often prescribed to hasten resolution.
4k viewsAnswered >2 years ago
Last updated Dec 10, 2015
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